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Chelyabinsk Superbolide Meteorite
Detailed studies of recovered bits and pieces of the Chelyabinsk superbolide are now underway at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
CREDIT: Larry Taylor

Larry Taylor, distinguished professor of earth and planetary sciences, has samples of the meteor which exploded over Russia. He is studying them to see what insight they can provide into the rare impact by a space rock, and other stories they may have to tell. “The magnitude of the explosion led a whole lot of us to believe that it must have been a very volatile-rich meteor that was coming in … because it exploded so vigorously,” Taylor said to Volatile materials are those that evaporate easily. “In fact, everything we found so far points to an ordinary chondrite.” His research has been covered by several media outlets.