Chelyabinsk Meteorite Display - Historic Russian Fireball and Shockwave

This handsome display features a small sample of the Chelyabinsk meteorite encased in a removable specimen jar. The specimen is set against a color photo of the Chelyabinsk bolide (fireball) as it appeared in the sky over Russia. This display would be ideal for collecting, display, or outreach use.

On February 15, 2013, a spectacular bolide streaked across the sky over the town of Chelyabinsk. The bolide was so big and bright, that many people ran to their windows to look at it - a minute later a massive shockwave from the impact slammed the city, causing major damage. A factory wall collapsed and thousands of windows were broken by the pressure. Hundreds of people were injured by flying glass and debris.

This was the most devastating meteorite impact in Russia since Tunguska nearly a century ago. Unlike Tunguska (which was likely an icy comet), the Chelyabinsk meteorite was made of dense stone, so many fragments and meteorites survived the impact and are scattered across a large strewnfield.

Refer to the photo. The black centimeter cube is shown for scale and is not included. You are purchasing a display like the one shown. Note, your sample fragment may differ slightly in appearance from the one shown - each fragment is unique.


From the Meteoritical Bulletin entry on Chelyabinsk :


Chelyabinsk 54°49’N, 61°07’E (approximate centroid)

Chelyabinskaya oblast’, Russia

Fell: 15 Feb 2013; 3:22 UT

Classification: Ordinary chondrite (LL5)

History: At 9:22 a.m. (local time) on February 15, 2013, a bright fireball was seen by numerous residents in parts of the Kurgan, Tyumen, Ekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk districts. Images of the fireball were captured by many video cameras, especially in Chelyabinsk. Residents of the Chelyabinsk district heard the sound of a large explosion. The impact wave destroyed many windows in Chelyabinsk and surrounding cities. Many people were wounded by glass fragments. A part of the roof and a wall of a zinc plant and a stadium in Chelyabinsk were also damaged. Numerous (thousands) stones fell as a shower around Pervomaiskoe, Deputatsky and Yemanzhelinka villages ~40 km S of Chelyabinsk. The meteorite pieces were recovered and collected out of snow by local people immediately after the explosion. The snow cover was about 0.7 m deep. The falling stones formed holes surrounded by firn snow. Largest stones reached the frozen soil. A stone may have broken the ice of Chebarkul Lake, located 70 km W of Chelyabinsk. Small meteorite fragments were found around the 8 m hole in the ice but divers did not find any stones on the lake bottom.

Physical characteristics: The meteorite stones and fragments are from <1 g="" to="" 1.8="" kg="" in="" weight="" and="" from="" a="" few="" mm="" to="" 10="" cm="" (mainly="" 3-6="" cm)="" in="" size.="" the="" total="" mass="" collected="" by="" local="" people="" is="" certainly="">100 kg and perhaps > 500 kg. Fusion crusted stones are common. The fusion crust is black or brown and fresh. Broken fragments are rare. The interior of the stones is fresh but in some pieces there is evidence for weak oxidation of metal grains.

Petrography: (D.D. Badyukov and M.A. Nazarov, Vernad). The majority (2/3) of the stones are composed of a light-colored lithology with a typical chondritic texture. Chondrules (~63%) are readily delineated and set within a fragmental matrix. The mean chondrule diameter is 0.93 mm. The chondrule glass is devitrified. The main phases are olivine and orthopyroxene. Olivine shows mosaicism and planar fractures. Rare grains of augite and clinobronzite are present. Small and rare feldspar grains show undulutory extinction, planar deformation features, and are partly isotropic. Troilite (4 vol.%) and FeNi metal (1.3 vol.%) occur as irregularly shaped grains. Accessory minerals are chromite, ilmenite, and Cl-apatite. A significant portion (1/3) of the stones consist of a dark, fine-grained impact melt containing mineral and chondrule fragments. Feldspar is well developed and practically isotropic. No high-pressure phases were found in the impact melt. There are black-colored thin shock veins in both light and dark lithologies.

Geochemistry: (M.A. Nazarov, N.N. Kononkova, and I.V. Kubrakova, Vernad). Mineral chemistry: Olivine Fa 27.9±0.35, N=22; orthopyroxene Fs22.8±0.8Wo1.30±0.26, N=17; feldspar Ab86; chromite Fe/Fe+Mg=0.90, Cr/Cr+Al=0.85 (at.%). Major element composition of the light lithology (XRF, ICP-AS, wt%): Si=18.3, Ti=0.053, Al=1.12, Cr=0.40, Fe=19.8, Mn=0.26, Ca=1.43, Na=0.74, K=0.11, P=0.10, Ni=1.06, Co=0.046, S=1.7. Atomic ratios of Zn/Mn × 100=1.3, Al/Mn=8.8. The impact melt lithology has almost the same composition but it is distinctly higher in Ni, Zn, Cu, Mo, Cd, W, Re, Pb, Bi (ICP-MS).

Classification: Ordinary chondrite (LL5), shock stage S4, weathering W0.

Specimens: About 400 stones weighing 3.5 kg in total and a few thin sections are in Vernad.


  • 4 available
$21.00