Asteroid crash 290 mn years ago may have led Russian meteor on collision course with Earth

By Ritu Singh | Last Updated: Monday, May 26, 2014 - 12:27

Zee Media Bureau/Ritu Singh

Washington : After the unfortunate Russian meteor strike last year, scientists have constantly been trying to unfold the mechanisms behind the second largest asteroid airburst in human history. In a recent study, researchers have said that the meteorite that rocked Russia last year could have been sent on the collision course with Earth after it crashed into another asteroid as long as 290 million years ago.

This discovery has been made by lead researcher Shin Ozawa, of Japan`s University of Tohoku, and his team. An unusual form of the mineral jadeite embedded in glassy structures known as shock veins was collected from the fragments of the asteroid recovered after the powerful Feb. 15, 2013 strike.
Shock veins typically form when the parent body of a meteor or asteroid collides with a larger object in space. Heat and pressure from the impact cause rock to melt and it later reforms bearing vein-shaped patterns.
According to the scientists, the parent asteroid, from which the Chelyabinsk meteor broke off, crashed into another asteroid in space at anywhere from 1,440 - 5,400 km/h. The second asteroid was at least 150m in diameter, and the crash sent the final 20m wide meteor in Earth`s direction.



First Published: Monday, May 26, 2014 - 12:09

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