MOSCOW, February 18 (RIA Novosti) – The meteorite which fell in Russia’s Urals on Friday is likely to be named Chebarkul after a lake where it fell in and the eponymous city on the lake’s shores, a leading scientist said on Monday.
The fragments of the meteorite have been found by scientists in Lake Chebarkul, in the Chelyabinsk Region, late on Sunday. The meteorite broke into approximately seven large fragments, one of them fell into Lake Chebarkul, forming a hole in the ice of about eight meters in diameter.
Tiny fragments of rock were collected near the ice hole, and a research confirmed that the substance has meteorite nature. Tests revealed it was chondrite, a stony meteorite containing some 10 percent of iron.
“[Chebarkul] is the name that we will suggest,” said Victor Grokhovsky of the Urals Federal University, who is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Meteorites, said.
“The nearest city is Chebarkul, and, under the rules, [a meteorite] should be named after the nearest settlement,” he said.
In order to get a name, scientists should first publish data about the meteorite in the bulletin of the International Meteoritical Society.
“It will take two or three months,” Grokhovsky said.
A flaming meteorite streaked across the sky and slammed into Russia’s Urals with a massive boom that blew out windows and damaged thousands of buildings around the city of Chelyabinsk, injuring 1,200 people in the area. According to the Health Ministry, 52 were hospitalized.
NASA estimates the Russian meteorite was roughly 50 feet (15 meters) in diameter when it struck Earth’s atmosphere on Friday, travelling faster than the speed of sound, and exploded into a fireball brighter than the sun.