PLEASE NOTE:


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CCNet 50/2003 - 7 June 2003
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"If it had hit Central London, Britain would no longer have a capital
city. The force of the meteorite that hit eastern Siberia last September
destroyed 40 square miles of forest and caused earth tremors felt 60
miles away."
--Robin Shepherd, The Times, 7 June 2003


(1) METEORITE CRASH SITE FOUND IN SIBERIA

(2) LARGE METEORITE FRAGMENTS FOUND IN SIBERIA

(3) SIBERIA METEORITE FLATTENS 40 SQ MILES

(4) CASH PLEA FOR SPACE IMPACT STUDY


============
(1) METEORITE CRASH SITE FOUND IN SIBERIA

Inferfax, 6 June 2003
http://www.interfax.ru/one_news_en.html?lang=EN&tz=0&tz_format=MSK&id_news=5642068

IRKUTSK. June 6 (Interfax) - The crash site of a gigantic meteorite,
Vitim, that hit Earth in September has been discovered in the Irkutsk
region.

An expedition from the Kosmopoisk scientific organization found an area
of about 100 square kilometers covered with burnt trees and pieces of
the meteorite 60 kilometers from the village of Mama, Alexander Bogun,
deputy head of the district administration, told Interfax on Friday.

The meteorite fell in the early hours of September 25, 2002, between the
town of Bodaibo and the village of Balakhninsky near the Vitim River.
The incident caused strong tremors in the region, similar to those of an
earthquake. Sporadic flashes of light were seen over the crash site.

The expedition members said that this is the second largest meteorite,
after the famous Tunguska meteorite, to fall on Russian territory.

Copyright 2003, Interfax

=============
(2) LARGE METEORITE FRAGMENTS FOUND IN SIBERIA

RIA Novosti, 6 June 2003

MOSCOW, JUNE 6 (RIA NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT EDUARD PUZYREV) - The site and
fragments of a large meteorite which fell on the earth in September 2002
had been found in Siberia, said the Russian Academy of Sciences on
Friday.

"Prospectors from the Kosmopoisk expedition have spotted a
100,000-square-kilometer (sic) part of the taiga with burnt and fallen
trees. It is found 60 kilometers from the Mama village near the Vitim
river," said the academy.

The precise coordinates have been fixed only now because deep snow
hindered work before.

Now scientists can get down to a more detailed study of the meteorite.
The first fragments of the celestial body have already been found.

When the meteorite was falling, people in many places near the Bodaibo
and Mama villages felt earth tremors as in an earthquake. They also
"heard roar and splashes of light above the taiga forest far away." The
passage of "a large luminous object" in the terrestrial atmosphere was
also registered by American satellites.

The Russian Academy of Sciences does not rule out that, after the 1908
fall of the Tunguska meteorite, the new one can be the largest of
meteorites which have fallen on earth over the last 95 years.

Copyright 2003, RIA Novosti

==============
(3) SIBERIA METEORITE FLATTENS 40 SQ MILES

The Times, 7 June 2003
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-705280,00.html

From Robin Shepherd in Moscow
 
IF IT had hit Central London, Britain would no longer have a capital
city. The force of the meteorite that hit eastern Siberia last September
destroyed 40 square miles of forest and caused earth tremors felt 60
miles away.

An expedition from Russia's Kosmopoisk institute has only recently
reached the site in a remote area north of Lake Baikal because of bad
weather and difficult terrain, the Interfax news agency said yesterday.

Fragments of the meteorite had apparently exploded into shrapnel 18
miles above the Earth with the force of at least 200 tonnes of TNT.

At the time, Russian media reported that villagers 60 miles away had
witnessed a gigantic fireball screeching down from the sky, causing
windows to rattle and house lights to swing as they were hit by blast
waves on September 25. There were no reported casualties.
 
Copyright 2003, The Times

=============
(4) CASH PLEA FOR SPACE IMPACT STUDY

BBC News Online, 8 October 2002
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2309117.stm

By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online science editor 
 
Scientists investigating what is believed to be a "significant" fresh
meteoroid impact crater in a remote part of Siberia are begging for
funds to mount an expedition.

A British meteorite expert has called on the international community to
help Russian researchers get to the impact site, which may be of major
scientific importance.

Hunters in the region say they have seen a large crater surrounded by
burned forest.

Vladimir Polyakov, of the Institute of Solar and Terrestrial Physics in
Moscow, said: Specialists have no doubt that it is a meteorite that fell
into the taiga on Thursday."

Middle-power Earthquake

Polyakov says there were more than 100 eyewitnesses to the event.

He added that scientists believed them. He said instruments rarely
recorded the impacts of meteoroids and so eyewitnesses were practically
the only source of information for such events.

Kirill Levi, vice-director of the Earth Crust Institute in Siberia,
said: "The seismic monitoring station located near the event site
recorded the moment of impact recording seismic waves comparable to a
middle-power earthquake."

Vladimir Polyakov added that it was impossible to send a state-funded
expedition to the site, which lies in Bodaibo district, Irkutsk region,
without approval from the Meteorite Studies Center in Moscow.

Bodaibo residents say they witnessed the fall of a very large, luminous
body, which looked like a huge boulder.

No funds

Scientists in Irkutsk have sent a report to Moscow along with a request
for funds to mount an expedition but have had no reply.

Benny Peiser, of Liverpool John Moores University, UK, said: "We appear
to be dealing with a significant impact event."

He told BBC News Online: "It is imperative that US and UK funding bodies
support our Russian colleagues in their investigation of the Siberian
impact.

"The resources required for sending a scientific expedition to the
epicentre of the event would be very moderate but could yield vital
information about the impact threat that concerns every citizen of the
world."

Copyright 2003, BBC
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