Tuesday, October 24, 2023

UrFU Scientists Registered a Meteorite Weighing Almost 300 Kilograms

Kapustin Yar meteorite
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ural Federal University

Scientists from the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Extra Terra Consortium laboratory of UrFU have registered a new meteorite (chondrite) in the Meteoritical Bulletin Database of the International Meteoritical Society. The chondrite was named "Kapustin Yar" (Capustin Yar). It was one of 29 L/LL6 class meteorites found on Earth and the heaviest of the group.

"The total weight of the meteorite is 276.5 kg. The main mass is still in Volgograd, fragments - in Novosibirsk and Moscow. The largest sample of meteorite measuring 48×60×50 cm has an angular and slightly rounded shape. Its surface is partially covered with fusion crust, which is also characteristic of smaller fragments. The name "Kapustin Yar" was given by the gunnery range of the same name in the Astrakhan region, because near the place of the meteorite fall and around this test site there are no residential settlements. So far, the Kapustin Yar chondrite is the third meteorite found in the Astrakhan region," says Viktor Sharygin, a senior researcher at the Extra Terra Consortium laboratory of UrFU.

The chondrite was found in 2021 in the steppe near the Kapustin Yar gunnery range, on the territory of a former farm in the Akhtubinsky district of the Astrakhan region. The meteorite was dug out only in April 2023. The first data confirming the extraterrestrial origin of the stone, received in June on a scanning electron microscope. Application for its registration filed in the summer. The meteorite officially appeared in the list of registered the other day. 

"The meteorite has traveled a long way before it got to the laboratory. As the sample was studied, it became clear that the miners were really lucky to find an object not from Earth. Based on the analysis of the new meteorite classified as ordinary chondrite. And, although they account for the largest number of falls, this sample is unique in its own way. Its composition - key silicates, cobalt content in kamasite, modal metal content - does not allow us to unambiguously assign the new meteorite to the L- or LL-type. At the same time, its total weight is the highest in this group," explains Grigory Yakovlev, junior researcher at the laboratory Extra Terra Consortium UrFU Grigory Yakovlev.

It should be noted that the Kapustin Yar meteorite became the 33rd meteorite registered in the International Meteorite Society from the Extra Terra Consortium laboratory of UrFU since 2015. Five of them were found on the territory of Russia, the others in the deserts of Iran, Chile, Mongolia and in Antarctica. In total, 179 meteorites have been found and registered in Russia so far. 

Published in journal: N/A

Additional informationMeteoritical Bulletin Database

Source/CreditUral Federal University | Anna Marinovich 

Reference Number: sn102423_01

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