When a 4.5 billion year old relic from the dawn of the solar system hurtled through the skies above the Russia in 2013, we all heard about it. Now after over a year of poking through bushes for lost fragments and analyzing data, we've got a good idea of what happened.
Top image: Meteor over Chelyabinsk, Russia on 15 February 2013. Credit: M. Ahmetvaleev/JPLPIA16828
David A. Kring, scientist with the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and Mark Boslough, a physicist at Sandia National Laboratories, traced out everything we now know about the rock that disintegrated 100 kilometers above the Russia-Kazakhstan border for Physics Today.
The rock's entry speed gives away its original orbit, out in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Similar to how scientists have reconstructed the collisional history of the meteorite that crashed into a Novato, California home in 2012, researchers have pieced together the history of the Chelyabinsk meteor. It was rocky, metal-poor, and worse-for-wear from rattling around the solar system so long.