Security camera video showing the impact of the largest piece of the Chelyabinsk meteorite striking Lake Chebarkul during the Feb. 15, 2013 Russian fireball. Credit: Nikolaj Mel’nikov.
When I first watched this video of the half-ton Chelyabinsk meteorite crashing into Lake Chebarkul last Feb. 15 I didn’t see anything. But once you pay close attention, what you’ll see is nothing short of amazing. You’ll recall that a 20-foot (6 meter) hole appeared in the ice immediately after the fall. While no one witnessed the impact, a security camera caught the critical moment from the other side of the lake.
The video recently appeared in an online presentation by Peter Jenniskens, noted meteorite expert and senior research scientist at the SETI Institute. It was released as part of a paper and Powerpoint on the Chelyabinsk airburst. You can listen to Jenniskens’ presentation HERE.
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When you watch the video, focus your attention just to the left of what looks like an ice fishing shack at top center and use the handy frame grab above. In the slowed-down portion of the footage you’ll see a cloud of ice and snow blow up and quickly drift to the right of the shack seconds after impact. While blurry and small, it’s amazing good fortune we have a document of this fall.
Video of the recovery of the largest piece of the Chelyabinsk meteorite
Divers ultimately fished the 1/2 ton Chelyabinsk meteorite – the largest found so far – from the lake on Oct. 16. It measured 5 feet long (1.5 meter) and broke into three pieces as scientists hoisted it into a scale to weigh it.
As a return favor, the little piece of heaven broke the scale.