A race for cosmic souvenirs has begun after scientists said there were still many pieces of the meteorite that fell to earth near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk last week waiting to be found.
The extraterrestrial origin of 53 rock fragments collected on the frozen surface of Lake Chebarkul was confirmed during analysis conducted by the Urals Federal University in the early hours of Monday.
But this is just the start of the process of gathering the debris left by the large meteorite, which exploded on entering the earthís atmosphere and hit the ground in a series of fireballs on Friday.
Viktor Grokhovsky, a member of the Russian Academy of Scienceís meteorite committee, has been put in charge of the scientific search operation. "There are a lot more fragments to be discovered in many other places Ö itís only a matter of time," he said.
The search is being concentrated at the moment around a six-metre wide hole in Lake Chebarkul, about 50 miles from Chelyabinsk, discovered by locals shortly after the meteorite hit the ground.
Military divers spent much of the weekend scouring the bottom of the lake, but were hampered by poor visibility and found nothing.
Despite the failure of the divers, there was still likely to be a piece of meteorite in the lake of at least 50cm in diameter, said Grokhovsky.
Local officials said on Sunday that the formal search was being abandoned, but scientists will continue the hunt. No one from the eight-strong scientific team has yet been able to examine the whole surface of the lake because of a cordon put in place by the authorities over the weekend.
Analysis of the pieces recovered so far, none of which had a diameter greater than 1cm, suggests that 10% of the meteorite was made up of iron. Traces of sulphite and the mineral olivine were also present.
"It was a stone meteorite that belongs to a class of ordinary chondrite meteorites," said Grokhovsky.
Likely to be named Chebarkul after the lake where the first fragments were found, the meteorite is the biggest such object to hit the earth in more than 100 years.
Within the academic community there appeared to be a difference of opinion on Monday as to the exact nature of the object, when some experts said it was conceivable that it was a comet that had struck southern Russia at 9.20am on Friday.
"In Chelyabinsk we saw a type of comet in which there was almost no meteorite remaining," said Alexander Bagrov, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciencesí Astronomy Institute, Interfax reported.
"It was mainly made up of a mass of ice, of which no trace is left."
The argument reflects the same debate that raged after the last big meteorite impact, the so-called Tunguska event in Siberia in 1908. For decades afterwards Russian scientists, trying to explain the absence of an obvious impact crater, argued over whether the blast was caused by a meteorite or a small comet.
Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female 2015-04-25 4:52
Shieldmaidens are not a myth! A recent archaeological discovery has shattered the stereotype of exclusively male Viking warriors sailing out to war while their long-suffering wives wait at home with baby Vikings. (We knew it! We always knew it.) Plus, some other findings are challenging that whole ‚Äúrape and pillage‚ÄĚ thing, too.
Researchers at the University of Western Australia decided ...
Off Your Knees, Germany! Ernst Zundel 1983 - 2003 2015-04-25 1:15
For more information on the holocaust, how the war was forced upon Germany, and the REAL victims of the second world war see:
IRS Drops Attack For Six Years ‚Äď No Evidence of Jurisdiction 2015-04-24 20:29
A big congrats to a friend I‚Äôve been working with for several years, he stood up to the predators commonly called the ‚ÄúIRS‚ÄĚ and they dropped their attack. Thanks also for providing me with the proof below.
The criminals called the ‚ÄúIRS‚ÄĚ initiated an attack claiming my friend was required to file six tax returns, or explain how he made ...
Into Eternity - Finland's 100,000 Year Massive Underground Spent Nuclear Fuel Program 2015-04-24 20:49
Into Eternity is a documentary about a deep geological repository for nuclear waste. The concept of long-term underground storage for radioactive waste has been explored since the 1950s. The inner part of the Russian doll-like storage canisters is to be composed of copper. Hence in the case of Onkalo it is tightly linked to experiments on copper corrosion in running ...
SPLC Accuses Oath Keepers of Inciting ‚ÄúArmed Confrontation‚ÄĚ Over Sugar Pine Mine 2015-04-24 20:22
The Southern Poverty Law Center has accused Oath Keepers of inciting an armed confrontation with BLM authorities over the Sugar Pine Mine dispute in Oregon, despite the fact that the organization has explicitly stated that it is not promoting armed confrontation with the feds.
In an article provocatively posted on the organization‚Äôs ‚ÄėHatewatch‚Äô section entitled Oath Keepers Descend Upon Oregon with ...