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Russian Meteorites Offered as Prizes at Tucson Event

Press Release From: Planetary Science Institute
Posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April 30, 2013, Tucson, Ariz. -- Pieces of the Chelyabinsk meteor that recently exploded over Russia have landed in Tucson.

The Planetary Science Institute has obtained two meteorite specimens from the Feb. 15 blast that saw 1,500 people require medical attention and more than 7,000 buildings in six cities damaged in the area in the Ural Mountains in southwest Russia.

The asteroid, which measured about 20 meters across and weighed 11,000 tons, was traveling about 41,000 mph when it exploded 15 miles above the ground, causing a bright flash, producing a strong shock wave and depositing small fragmentary meteorites across the region.

One of the specimens obtained by PSI is a 1.49 gram half stone, oblong shield shaped leading edge with an obverse broken faced side, while the other is a 5.15 gram, about 60 percent fusion crusted, with matrix visible through impact breaks. Each meteorite is more than a centimeter wide and tall.

Two lucky winners will each take home one of the Russian meteorites at PSI's annual fundraising dinner May 8, where the specimens will be raffled off. Please visit http://www.psi.edu/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=6 for more information on the meteorite raffle and dinner.

PSI's CEO and Director Mark Sykes is available to the media to discuss the Russian meteor and PSI's plans to launch a Tucson-based meteorite lab to analyze meteorite specimens. Please contact Alan Fischer at fischer@psi.edu or 520-382-0411 to schedule an interview.


THE PLANETARY SCIENCE INSTITUTE:

The Planetary Science Institute is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to solar system exploration. It is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, where it was founded in 1972.

PSI scientists are involved in numerous NASA and international missions, the study of Mars and other planets, the Moon, asteroids, comets, interplanetary dust, impact physics, the origin of the solar system, extra-solar planet formation, dynamics, the rise of life, and other areas of research. They conduct fieldwork in North America, Australia and Africa. They also are actively involved in science education and public outreach through school programs, children's books, popular science books and art.

PSI scientists are based in 18 states and the District of Columbia, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Latvia, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

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