Press Release

A New Russian Meteorite?

By SpaceRef Editor
October 5, 2002
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On Thursday 3 October, residents of the village of Bodaibo in
the Irkutsk region of Siberia witnessed the fall of a large
glowing object from space. Witnesses saw a large fireball in
the sky, followed by a thunder-like sound, a flash of light,
and a small earth tremor.

Scientists from the Institute of Solar and Earth Physics of
the Russian Academy of Science suspect the object is a large
meteorite. It landed in the hills between the villages of
Bodaibo and Balakhninsky. Early reports suggest there were
no casualties or damage to property.

Siberia is no stranger to visiting rocks from space. Back in
1908, a near earth object detonated in the atmosphere above
the Tunguska region, flattening 2000 square kilometres of
forest. More recently, in February 1947, a large iron
meteorite, estimated to weight 1000 tons, landed in the
Sikhote-Alin mountain range.

Around 30,000 meteorites of varying sizes fall to Earth each
year, but the vast majority fall in the oceans and deserts
that make up the majority of the Earth’s surface. If pieces
of this new fall can be recovered, it may give scientists
valuable insights into the nature of these rocks, which are
remnants from the formation of our Solar System.

A group of scientists from the Institute of Solar and Earth
Physics is to head for the new fall-site as soon as possible.

Near Earth Object Information Centre, National Space Centre, Leicester, U.K.


Kevin Yates,, +44(0)116 2582130

SpaceRef staff editor.