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The Pawtucket Times

Pawtucket, Rhode Island, TIMES, 3 July 1947, page

Study Made Of Meteorite
Russians Find It Was Of Rare Variety Of Hexadrite

MOSCOW (UP) - One of the largest meteorites to collide with the earth in modern times, the massive one which crashed some 250 miles north of Vladivostock on the night of Feb. 12, was of a comparatively rare variety known as "hexadrite," Soviet scientists studying splinters from the meteor have determined.

It contained iron, nickel, cobalt, and a small amount of phosphorous and sulphur.

Other scientists still are working in the area where the meteor fell , with one crew excavating to reach what apparently was the main body of the meteor. It is buried more than 35 feet into the soft ground of the sparsely-inhabited area. The crater it formed is 210 feet in diameter.

Thirty-five other splinter craters have been mapped, most of them 45 to 75-foot diameters.

Reports from the maritime provinces showed that the earth collided with "a small planet or asteroid" weighing 1080 tons and only the fact that both the earth and asteroid were going in the same direction prevented a major shock, Radio Moscow said.

"A report received at Alma Ata Kazakhstan from Academician V. G. Fessenkov, heading the Soviet Science Academies mission studying the Sikote Alin meteorite shows this event was probably unique in the history of mankind," Radio Moscow said.


"The earth collided with a small planet or asteroid. Calculations show that the meteorite was overtaking the earth at a small angle to its orbit at a speed of some 19.9 miles per second, which considerably exceeds the speed of the earth.

"Consequently the meteorite reached the earth's surface causing local damage. Some of its fragments buried themselves deep in the ground, forming numerous craters.

"An air wave passed in the direction of flight of the meteorite. The fall of the meteorite was not accompanied by an explosion as happened in the case of the great Tunguska meteorite which was flying in a direction opposite to that of the earth.

The Tunguska meteorite, greatest known to fall in historic times, landed in Siberia with a great explosion and speckled many square miles with craters. It flattened trees away from the explosion for scores of miles around.

Radio Moscow said: "The Sikbota Alin meteorite has an interesting chemical composition. Its crystalline structure is another proof of its cosmic origin. The expedition is continuing its studies."

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