Divers Recover Presumed Superchunk Of Russian Meteor From Lake Chebarkul

If the 1,257-pound fragment is proved to be from space, then it will be the largest chunk of the Chelyabinsk meteor found so far.

Recovery teams have pulled what could be the largest fragment of the Chelyabinsk meteorite so far out of the lake it crashed into. A hole six feet wide was left in the ice atop Lake Chebarkul, 50 miles west of the central Russian city after the space rock's spectacular swoosh through the sky and subsequent three-miles-per-second impact.

The fragment is so large that divers have been unable to lift it. Instead, it's been dragged along the bottom of the lake on a metal sheet. At 1,257 pounds—that's 570 kilos—it will be almost as big as the Holsinger meteorite, which landed in Arizona 50,000 years ago, and broke the scales when it was weighed earlier today. The rock will be tested to verify that it is from space.

Just to compare, it weighs the same as either seven average U.S. men, eight Russians, or nine Frenchmen. Or one polar bear called Inuka. Which begs the question: Would you rather have a large lump of space rock crash into your ornamental garden pond, or Inuka?

[Image: Flickr user mcclintock073]

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