Stone meteorite, LL5. Witnessed fall, Chelyabinsk, Russia, February 15, 2013. Complete fusion-crusted, stone. Weighing 17.2 grams and measuring 22 mm x 22 mm x 19 mm. Excellent cube-shaped stone showing rich, black primary and secondary fusion crust. Secondary crust forms when one or more faces of an incoming meteorite break or shatter during flight. The newly-exposed face heats and ablates and begins to acquire fusion crust, that is typically not as smooth or thick as “original” primary crust. Secondary fusion crust tells us incoming meteorites that have already broken up at a high altitude may continue to fragment and explode during their brief and rapid journey through Earth’s atmosphere.
One could argue that the history of meteorites is, in large part, also the violent and dangerous history of our fragile home planet being hammered by the cosmos—savagely and repeatedly. One could also argue that as far back as the 1400s, each century has had its definitive meteorite event, which shocked and terrified the populace, and for the 21st century, at least so far, no space rock enthusiast would deny that Chelyabinsk is the meteorite event that captured the attention of the world.
Car-mounted video recorders, popular in Russia, captured astonishing footage of the fireball, and following a series of in-flight explosions, a large number of small meteorites rained down on the snow-covered ground outside of the city. Very shortly thereafter, the city itself was rocked by a massive shockwave and an estimated 1,200 people were injured. News of the fireball spread rapidly all over the world, and soon became the most widely-seen meteorite event in history.
The stone meteorites presented here are from the definitive 21st-century meteorite event and they show rich, black fusion crust. This indicates that they were picked up very shortly after the fall, before having time to rust or weather. Of very particular note is the Chelyabinsk window [LOT 2476], shattered by the incoming bolide’s shockwave and personally collected and documented at the site by a reputable meteorite professional. Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Aerolite Meteorites.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.