Chelyabinsk Meteor Is From Ancient Space Collision
Scientists think long-ago smashup led to last year's bang in Russia
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2014 10:25 AM CDT
In this Feb. 15, 2013, photo, the meteor flies over the Ural Mountains' city of Chelyabinsk, Russia.   (AP Photo/Chelyabinsk.ru, Yekaterina Pustynnikova, File)

(Newser) – Two big rocks collided in deep space about 290 million years ago, and a new study suggests that we earthlings felt the impact via that amazing meteor strike in Chelyabinsk, Russia, last year. Scientists analyzing meteorite fragments think that the chunk of asteroid that exploded over the city in 2013 got spat out of the long-ago collision, reports Reuters. The telltale sign is that the fragments are embedded with a mineral called jadeite, which forms under high pressure—as would exist in a major colliision.

"This impact might have separated the Chelyabinsk asteroid from its parent body and delivered it to the Earth," writes a Japanese researcher this week in the journal Scientific Reports. Assuming the timeline of 290 million years holds up under further research, it suggests that asteroids have a "much greater longevity than previously estimated," reports Discover. In fact, the lead researcher says it's possible that the meteor has "siblings" created in the same impact that theoretically could be headed our way, reports New Scientist.

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
AstroDude
May 24, 2014 12:53 PM CDT
I have over 700 samples from that explosion in my office. The object was over 10,000 tons and the size of a school bus. The biggest sample found is as big as a golf ball. The word to remember? Obliteration.
Mergatroid69
May 24, 2014 11:58 AM CDT
Doomed...for the life of God...we're all doooooomed!!!
Who_Cares
May 24, 2014 11:19 AM CDT
Amazing how they can figure out when this could happen and how it led to the impact. This is sort of like a bad karma, when you harm someone and comes to bite you years later. Amazing.