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Scientists find 570-kilo chunk of Chelyabinsk meteor on bottom of Russian lake

Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 1:41 PM -

Russian scientists have recovered a giant chunk of the Chelyabinsk meteor from the bottom of the lake it crashed into. 

A meteor that blazed across southern Urals in February was the largest recorded meteor strike in more than a century. 

More than 1,600 people were injured by the shock wave from the explosion, estimated to be as strong as 20 Hiroshima atomic bombs, as it landed near the city of Chelyabinsk. Scientists on Wednesday recovered what could be the largest part of this meteor from Chebarkul Lake outside the city. 

They weighed it using a giant steelyard balance, which displayed 570 kilograms (1,256 pounds) before it broke.

Sergei Zamozdra, an associate professor at Chelyabinsk State University, told Russian television that the excavated fragment was definitely a chunk of the meteor. 

The February meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere at the speed of over 50,000 km/h and shattered about 30-50 km above the ground. 

"At those velocities, the stone had a lot of pressure on it, which is what caused it to explode...and resulted in a large sonic boom," The Night Sky Guy Andrew Fazekas told The Weather Network at the time of the event. 

With files from The Associated Press

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