Russia Meteor Had Steamy Past

Scientists suspect it had near-miss with sun

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 27, 2013 1:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – The colossal meteor that exploded over Russia earlier this year had been with other celestial bodies before, scientists say. Analysis of fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteor—the biggest to hit Earth in more than a century—have revealed signs of melting that researchers believed was caused by either a collision with something else in the solar system or a near-miss with the sun, Space.com reports. The explosion left fragments of the meteor scattered over a large area of central Russia, and scientists hope to learn more of its secrets when they recover the biggest piece from the bottom of a lake.

In this frame grab from dashboard camera video, a meteor streaks through the sky over Chelyabinsk, Russia.   (AP Photo/AP Video)
A meteorite contrail is seen over Chelyabinsk, Russia on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/Chelyabinsk.ru)
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