Never-before-seen crystals found in perfectly preserved meteorite dust

Never-before-seen crystals found in perfectly preserved meteorite dust

A close-up image of one of the new crystals taken using an electron microscope. (Image credit: Taskaev et al.)

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Researchers have discovered never-before-seen types of crystal hidden in tiny grains of perfectly preserved meteorite dust. The dust was left behind by a massive space rock that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, nine years ago.

On Feb. 15, 2013, an asteroid measuring 59 feet (18 meters) across and weighing 12,125 tons (11,000 metric tons) entered Earth‘s atmosphere at around 41,600 mph (66,950 km/h). Fortunately, the meteor exploded around 14.5 miles (23.3 kilometers) above the city of Chelyabinsk in southern Russia, showering the surrounding area in tiny meteorites and avoiding a colossal single collision with the surface. Experts at the time described the event as a major wake-up call to the dangers asteroids pose to the planet.

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