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

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

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

February 15, 2013 asteroid measuring 59 feet (18 meters) across and weighing 12,125 tons (11,000 metric tons). Earthin the atmosphere at about 41,600 miles per hour (66,950 km/h). Fortunately, the meteor exploded about 14.5 miles (23.3 km) above the city of Chelyabinsk in southern Russia, showering the surrounding area with tiny meteorites and avoiding a colossal single impact with the surface. Experts of the time described this event as main alarm call about the dangers that asteroids pose to the planet.

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