Sonntag, 17. März 2013 - 15:00 Uhr

Raumfahrt - ESA Smartphone-App verwandelt Drohne in Raumschiff


A free ESA app released today turns a popular iPhone-controlled ‘home drone’ into a spacecraft. The augmented reality game lets owners of Parrot AR.Drone quadcopters attempt dockings with a simulated International Space Station while flying their drones for real – in the process helping to improve robotic rendezvous methods.

This new AstroDrone app is part of a scientific crowdsourcing project by ESA’s Advanced Concepts Team, gathering data to teach robots to navigate their environments.

“People intuitively assess their position and motion in relation to their surroundings in various ways, based on what they see before them,” explained team research fellow Guido de Croon.

“This new app lets us crowdsource examples of this process in practice, as a first step to reproducing it with artificial intelligence. 

“For ESA, the result could be much more autonomous spacecraft that can reliably manoeuvre, dock or land themselves.”

Remote-controlled drones were once the province of the military, but technology advances make them accessible now to everybody.

“For ESA, this development opens up completely new ways of involving the public in scientific experiments,” noted Leopold Summerer, head of the Advanced Concepts Team. “We can obtain real-life data to train our algorithms in large amounts that would practically be impossible to get in any other way.

The AR.Drone is one example: around half a million have been sold since their introduction by France’s Parrot company in 2010. Equipped with two cameras, the midget drone flies on four rotors and can be steered by iPhone or any other iOS device.

 “We wanted to carry out robotic crowdsourcing, which meant selecting a robot that the public actually possesses in large numbers,” added Guido. “This is indeed a robot that people have at home and play games with, with the imaging capabilities we need.”

“In addition, the manufacturer has made the source code needed to communicate with the drone open to anyone to develop software.”

With AstroDrone, the controller places an augmented-reality marker on a real-world feature to serve as the Space Station docking port. The challenge is then to place the drone onto a graphical version of Station in as rapid but controlled a manner as possible, with bonus points for correct orientation and low speed on final approach.

“Here at ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in the Netherlands we happen to have a ceiling-mounted scale model of the Space Station to manoeuvre around – not everyone is so lucky,” remarked Guido. “But with AstroDrone anyone can share the same experience.”

Players are invited to contribute to the experiment via the Internet as they log their scores on the high-score table.

Their inputs will be anonymous, Guido explained: “We’re not interested in the places people are flying in. We will not receive any raw video images or GPS measurements, only the abstract mathematical image features that the drone itself perceives for navigation, along with velocity readings.”

A three-person team developed the app – Guido worked alongside with Paul Gerke and Ida Sprinkhuizen-Kuyper of Radboud University in the Netherlands.

Versions for other devices are planned as time permits, as well as future levels featuring other space rendezvous scenarios – such as ESA’s Rosetta probe rendezvousing with the 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko comet, which takes place for real next year. 


Quelle: ESA

Tags: ESA AstroDrone 


Sonntag, 17. März 2013 - 11:05 Uhr

Astronomie - Hubble schaut auf Ring-Galaxie


Hubble Gazes on One Ring to Rule Them All


Galaxies can take many forms — elliptical blobs, swirling spiral arms, bulges, and disks are all known components of the wide range of galaxies we have observed using telescopes like the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. However, some of the more intriguing objects in the sky around us include ring galaxies like the one pictured above — Zw II 28.

Ring galaxies are mysterious objects. They are thought to form when one galaxy slices through the disk of another, larger, one — as galaxies are mostly empty space, this collision is not as aggressive or as destructive as one might imagine. The likelihood of two stars physically colliding is minimal, and it is instead the gravitational effects of the two galaxies that cause the disruption.

This disruption upsets the material in both galaxies, and redistributes it forming a dense central core, encircled by bright stars. All this commotion causes clouds of gas and dust to collapse and triggers new periods of intense star formation in the outer ring, which is full of hot, young, blue stars and regions that are actively giving rise to new stars.

The sparkling pink and purple loop of Zw II 28 is not a typical ring galaxy due to its lack of a visible central companion. For many years it was thought to be a lone circle on the sky, but observations using Hubble have shown that there may be a possible companion lurking just inside the ring, where the loop appears to double back on itself. The galaxy has a knot-like, swirling ring structure, with some areas appearing much brighter than others.


Quelle: NASA

Tags: Hubble Telescope 


Samstag, 16. März 2013 - 16:00 Uhr

Astronomie - SDO sieht Erde-gerichteter koronalen Massenauswurf (CME)


Earth-Directed Coronal Mass Ejection From the Sun


The ESA and NASA Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured these images of the sun spitting out a coronal mass ejection (CME) on March 15, 2013, from 3:24 to 4:00 a.m. EDT. This type of image is known as a coronagraph, since a disk is placed over the sun to better see the dimmer atmosphere around it, called the corona. Credit: ESA&NASA/SOHO


On March 15, 2013, at 2:54 a.m. EDT, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME), a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space and can reach Earth one to three days later and affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground. Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and ESA/NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, show that the CME left the sun at speeds of around 900 miles per second, which is a fairly fast speed for CMEs. Historically, CMEs at this speed have caused mild to moderate effects at Earth.

The NASA research models also show that the CME may pass by the Spitzer and Messenger spacecraft. NASA has notified their mission operators. There is, however, only minor particle radiation associated with this event, which is what would normally concern operators of interplanetary spacecraft since the particles can trip on board computer electronics.

Not to be confused with a solar flare, a CME is a solar phenomenon that can send solar particles into space and reach Earth one to three days later. Earth-directed CMEs can cause a space weather phenomenon called a geomagnetic storm, which occurs when they connect with the outside of the Earth's magnetic envelope, the magnetosphere, for an extended period of time. In the past, geomagnetic storms caused by CMEs such as this one have usually been of mild to medium strength.

NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center ( is the United States Government official source for space weather forecasts, alerts, watches and warnings.

Quelle: NASA

Tags: Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) coronal mass ejection (CME) 


Samstag, 16. März 2013 - 15:42 Uhr

Mars-Chroniken - Panorama-Foto vom Mars


Tags: Mars-Chroniken Curiosity 


Samstag, 16. März 2013 - 13:30 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Rückkehr von ISS-Crew-34


The Expedition 34 crew living and working aboard the International Space Station Tuesday continued departure preparations for three of its crew members and performed a variety of science experiments from around the world. 
Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineers Evgeny Tarelkin and Oleg Novitskiy gathered and packed items to prepare for their upcoming return to Earth. The trio is set to journey back to Earth aboard their Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft on Thursday night after spending 143 days in space. 
They are scheduled to undock from the station’s Poisk Mini-Research Module 2 at about 8:30 p.m. EDT, landing in the steppe of Kazakhstan northeast of the remote town of Arkalyk about 3 ½ hours later. 
NASA Television will provide live coverage March 13-15 as three crew members aboard the International Space Station end almost five months at the orbiting laboratory. 
Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford of NASA, Russian Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy and Russian Flight Engineer Evgeny Tarelkin will undock their Soyuz spacecraft from the station at 8:30 p.m. EDT, March 14, heading for a landing in Kazakhstan northeast of the remote town of Arkalyk at 11:57 p.m. (10:57 a.m. Kazakh time March 15). They will have spent 143 days in space since launching from Kazakhstan Oct. 23. 
When the Soyuz undocks, Expedition 35 will begin aboard the station under the command of Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency. Hadfield will be the first Canadian commander. He and his crewmates, NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, will tend to the station for two weeks until the arrival of three new crew members: NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin. 
NASA TV coverage will begin Wednesday, March 13, with a change of command ceremony in which Ford will hand station command to Hadfield. Coverage will continue March 14 and 15 with Expedition 34 landing and post-landing activities. The coverage includes: 
Wednesday, March 13: 
5:10 p.m. -- Expedition 34/35 change of command ceremony 
Thursday, March 14: 
4:45 p.m. -- Farewells and hatch closure (hatch closure scheduled at 5:15 p.m.) 
8:15 p.m. -- Undocking (undocking scheduled at 8:30 p.m.) 
10:45 p.m. -- Deorbit burn and landing (deorbit burn scheduled at 11:04 p.m.; landing scheduled at 11:57 p.m.) 
Friday, March 15: 
2 a.m. -- Video File of hatch closure, undocking and landing activities 
2 p.m. -- Video File of post-landing activities and interviews 
Quelle: NASA
Update: 14.03.2013
Expedition 34 Crew Members
With their scheduled stay onboard the International Space Station headed toward its final days, three members of the Expedition 34 crew pose for some photographs in their Sokol suits in the U.S. Laboratory or Destiny. From left are NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, commander, with Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin.
The three crew members will undock their Soyuz spacecraft from the station at 8:30 p.m. EDT, March 14, heading for a landing in Kazakhstan northeast of the remote town of Arkalyk at 11:57 p.m. EDT. They will have spent 143 days in space since launching from Kazakhstan Oct. 23. 
When the Soyuz undocks, Expedition 35 will begin aboard the station under the command of Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency. Hadfield will be the first Canadian commander. He and his crewmates, NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, will tend to the station for two weeks until the arrival of three new crew members: NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin.
Update: 14.03.2013
LIVE-Frams von Abdockmanöver: NASA-TV
Kevin Ford übergibt die Verantwortung über ISS Chris Hadfield 
Abdocken von Sojus TMA-06M
Update: 15.03.2013
An American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts are stuck in space for one more day after freezing rain and fog on Earth prevented them from landing in Central Asia on Thursday (March 14), NASA officials say.
The foul weather, which one Russian space agency official described simply as "horrible," means NASA astronaut Kevin Ford and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin had to delay their return from the International Space Station for at least 24 hours. The three men have been living in space for 141 days and were preparing to enter their Soyuz spacecraft for a landing on the frigid steppes of Kazakhstan tonight.
"We are waving off landing," NASA spokesperson Rob Navias said during live mission commentary. "No Soyuz landing tonight."
Three Expedition 34 crew members said goodbye to three of their International Space Station crewmates Friday afternoon March 15, 2013. Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin entered their Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft and undocked at 7:43 p.m. EST after five months in space. Staying behind is new Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield with Flight Engineers Tom Marshburn and Roman Romanenko. They await a new trio of station residents scheduled for lift off from ...
Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineers Evgeny Tarelkin and Oleg Novitskiy landed their Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft in the steppe of Kazakhstan, northeast of the remote town of Arkalyk Friday at an estimated time of 11:08 p.m. EST. Despite fog, low visibility and below freezing temperatures Russian recovery teams were on hand to help the crew exit the Soyuz vehicle and adjust to gravity after 144 days in space.

The trio launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in October and spent 142 days living and working aboard the International Space Station.

Novitskiy was at the controls of the spacecraft as it undocked at 7:43 p.m. from the Poisk Mini-Research Module 2.
Quelle: NASA


Tags: ISS-Crew-34 Soyuz TMA-06M landing 


Samstag, 16. März 2013 - 10:13 Uhr

Raumfahrt - ESA und Roscosmos unterzeichnen Vertrag für ExoMars-Projekt


ESA and the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, have signed a formal agreement to work in partnership on the ExoMars programme towards the launch of two missions in 2016 and 2018.

Establishing whether life ever existed on Mars is one of the outstanding scientific questions of our time and the highest scientific priority of the ExoMars programme.

The partners have agreed a balanced sharing of responsibilities for the different mission elements. ESA will provide the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM) in 2016, and the carrier and rover in 2018.

Roscosmos will be responsible for the 2018 descent module and surface platform, and will provide launchers for both missions. Both partners will supply scientific instruments and will cooperate closely in the scientific exploitation of the missions.

ExoMars will also demonstrate core technologies under development by European industry such as landing, roving, drilling and sample preparation that are an essential part of paving the way for the next big step in the robotic exploration of Mars: a sample-return mission.

The 2016 mission has two major ESA elements: TGO and EDM. TGO will search for evidence of methane and other atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or geological processes. It will also serve as a data relay for the 2018 mission. EDM will land on Mars to prove key technologies for the 2018 mission.

In 2018, the ExoMars rover, to be provided by ESA, will search the planet’s surface for signs of life, past and present. It will be the first Mars rover able to drill to depths of 2 m, collecting samples that have been shielded from the harsh conditions of the surface, where radiation and oxidants can destroy organic materials.

The rover will be delivered by a Russian descent module that includes a surface platform equipped with additional scientific instruments.

Today, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and Head of Roscosmos Vladimir Popovkin met at ESA Headquarters in Paris to sign an agreement that seals ExoMars as a partnership between the two space agencies.

“This is a momentous occasion for the ExoMars programme that will see industry and scientists from Europe and Russia working together on these two exciting missions, which will develop new technologies that will demonstrate the competitiveness of European industry, be important for preparing a solid participation of ESA in future international exploration missions and address the key question of whether life ever arose on Mars,” says Jean-Jacques Dordain.

“It has been a long way, we have performed a large amount of work together. The ExoMars programme is to become the second large project after Soyuz in Kourou,” says Vladimir Popovkin.

“It confirms again that projects of such tremendous scale have to be implemented through international cooperation. The scientific data that we are going to obtain during all the planned missions are important for the worldwide community.”

NASA will also deliver important contributions to ExoMars, including the Electra UHF radio package for TGO, and Mars Proximity Link telecom and engineering support to EDM.

Today’s signature between ESA and Roscosmos provides the basis for industry and scientific institutes to begin full cooperation on the missions and to meet the challenging schedule, with the first launch planned in January 2016.


Quelle: ESA

Tags: ExoMars 


Freitag, 15. März 2013 - 15:20 Uhr

Mars-Chroniken - HIRISE blickt auf Mars-Berge


Landforms on Mars
This image was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) flying onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission.
Gully landforms like those in this image are found in many craters in the mid-latitudes of Mars. Changes in gullies were first seen in images from the Mars Orbiter Camera in 2006, and studying such activity has been a high priority for HiRISE. Many examples of new deposits in gullies are now known.
This image shows a new deposit in Gasa Crater, in the Southern mid-latitudes. The deposit is distinctively blue in enhanced-color images. This image was acquired in southern spring, but the flow that formed the deposit occurred in the preceding winter.
Current gully activity appears to be concentrated in winter and early spring, and may be caused by the seasonal carbon dioxide frost that is visible in gully alcoves in the winter. 
Quelle: NASA

Tags: HIRISE Mars 


Freitag, 15. März 2013 - 14:55 Uhr

Astronomie - Komet ISON Timeline 2013



This still from a NASA video identifies comet C/2012 S1 (ISON), better known as Comet ISON, in a telescope image.
The newly discovered Comet ISON is just a faint speck in the sky right now, but later this year, when it flies closer to the sun, it could shine as bright as the moon and may even be visible in broad daylight, scientists say.
"Comet ISON is a sungrazer," comet-tracker Karl Battams of the U.S. Naval Research Lab said in a NASA statement. "The orbit of the comet will bring it very close to the sun, which we know can be a spectacular thing."
That apparition, if Comet ISON delivers on its promise, is expected to peak in late November. While some astronomers a have touted ISON as a potential "Comet of the Century," there is still some uncertainty on how bright the object will actually become, according to scientists with NASA and other observatories.
Update: 25.01.2013
Quelle: NASA
Update: 6.02.2013
NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft has acquired its first images of comet C/2012 S1 (ISON). The images were taken by the spacecraft's Medium-Resolution Imager over a 36-hour period on Jan. 17 and 18, 2013, from a distance of 493 million miles (793 million kilometers). Many scientists anticipate a bright future for comet ISON; the spaceborne conglomeration of dust and ice may put on quite a show as it passes through the inner solar system this fall. 
"This is the fourth comet on which we have performed science observations and the farthest point from Earth from which we've tried to transmit data on a comet," said Tim Larson, project manager for the Deep Impact spacecraft at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "The distance limits our bandwidth, so it's a little like communicating through a modem after being used to DSL. But we're going to coordinate our science collection and playback so we maximize our return on this potentially spectacular comet." 
Deep Impact has executed close flybys of two comets - Tempel 1 and Hartley 2 - and its mission scientists, led by University of Maryland Astronomer Michael A'Hearn, have performed scientific observations on two more - comet Garradd and now ISON. The ISON imaging campaign is expected to yield infrared data, and light curves (which are used in defining the comet's rotation rate) in addition to visible-light images. A movie of comet ISON was generated from initial data acquired during this campaign. Preliminary results indicate that although the comet is still in the outer solar system, more than 474 million miles (763 million kilometers) from the sun, it is already active. As of Jan. 18, the tail extending from ISON's nucleus was already more than 40,000 miles (64,400 kilometers) long. 
Long-period comets like ISON are thought to arrive from the solar system's Oort cloud, a giant spherical cloud of icy bodies surrounding our solar system so far away its outer edge is about a third of the way to the nearest star (other than our sun). Every once in a while, one of these loose conglomerations of ice, rock, dust and organic compounds is disturbed out of its established orbit in the Oort cloud by a passing star or the combined gravitational effects of the stars in the Milky Way galaxy. With these gravitational nudges, so begins a comet's eons-long, arching plunge toward the inner solar system. 
ISON was discovered on Sept. 21, 2012, by two Russian astronomers using the International Scientific Optical Network's 16-inch (40-centimeter) telescope near Kislovodsk. NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office, based at JPL, has plotted its orbit and determined that the comet is more than likely making it first-ever sweep through the inner solar system. Having not come this way before means the comet's pristine surface has a higher probability of being laden with volatile material just spoiling for some of the sun's energy to heat it up and help it escape. With the exodus of these clean ices could come a boatload of dust, held in check since the beginnings of our solar system. This released gas and dust is what is seen on Earth as comprising a comet's atmosphere (coma) and tail. 
ISON will not be a threat to Earth - getting no closer to Earth than about 40 million miles on Dec. 26, 2013. But stargazers will have an opportunity to view the comet's head and tail before and after its closest approach to the sun -- if the comet doesn't fade early or break up before reaching the sun. 
Launched in January 2005, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft traveled about 268 million miles (431 million kilometers) to the vicinity of comet Tempel 1. On July 3, 2005, the spacecraft deployed an impactor that was essentially "run over" by the nucleus of Tempel 1 on July 4. Sixteen days after comet encounter, the Deep Impact team placed the spacecraft on a trajectory to fly past Earth in late December 2007. This extended mission of the Deep Impact spacecraft culminated in the successful flyby of comet Hartley 2 on Nov. 4, 2010. In January of 2012, the spacecraft performed, from a distance, an imaging campaign on comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd). 
To date, Deep Impact has traveled about 4.39 billion miles (7.06 billion kilometers) in space. 
JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Deep Impact mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The University of Maryland is the Principal Investigator institution for the mission. Deep Impact is part of the Discovery Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The spacecraft was built for NASA by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. 
Quelle: NASA
deep image of comet C/2012 S1 Ison, where can clearly see the beginning of a tail of dust.I used a telescope DK 450/1950 with ccd FLI6303e
Quelle: CARA

Tags: Comet ISON 


Freitag, 15. März 2013 - 09:23 Uhr

Astronomie - Nachforschungen von Lawrence Livermore finden Anzeichen für Wasser auf fernen Planeten


Artist's rendering of the planetary system HR 8799 at an early stage in its evolution, showing the planet HR 8799c, a disk of gas and dust, and interior planets. Image courtesy of Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics; Mediafarm.


A team of international scientists including a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory astrophysicist has made the most detailed examination yet of the atmosphere of a Jupiter-size like planet beyond our solar system. 
The finding provides astrophysicists with additional insight into how planets are formed. 
"This is the sharpest spectrum ever obtained of an extrasolar planet," said co-author Bruce Macintosh, an astronomer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "This shows the power of directly imaging a planetary system -- the exquisite resolution afforded by these new observations has allowed us to really begin to probe planet formation." 
According to lead author Quinn Konopacky, an astronomer with the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto and a former LLNL postdoc: "We have been able to observe this planet in unprecedented detail because of Keck Obervatory's advanced instrumentation, our ground-breaking observing and data processing techniques, and because of the nature of the planetary system." The paper appears online March 14 in Science Express and in the March 21 edition of the journal, Science. 
The team, using the OSIRIS instrument on the Keck II telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, has uncovered the chemical fingerprints of specific molecules, revealing a cloudy atmosphere containing water vapor and carbon monoxide. "With this level of detail," says co-author Travis Barman, an astronomer at the Lowell Observatory, "we can compare the amount of carbon to the amount of oxygen present in the atmosphere, and this chemical mix provides clues as to how the planetary system formed." 
There has been uncertainty about how planets in other solar systems formed, with two leading models, called core accretion and gravitational instability. When stars form, they are surrounded by a planet-forming disk. In the first scenario, planets form gradually as solid cores slowly grow big enough to start absorbing gas from the disk. In the latter, planets form almost instantly as parts of the disk collapses on itself. Planetary properties, such as the composition of a planet's atmosphere, are clues as to whether a system formed according to one model or the other. 
Although the planet's atmosphere shows clear evidence of water vapor, that signature is weaker than would be expected if the planet shared the composition of its parent star. Instead, the planet has a high ratio of carbon to oxygen -- a fingerprint of its formation in the gaseous disk tens of millions of years ago. As the gas cooled with time, grains of water ice form, depleting the remaining gas of oxygen. Planetary formation began when ice and solids collected into planetary cores -- very similar to how our solar system formed. 
"Once the solid cores grew large enough, their gravity quickly attracted surrounding gas to become the massive planets we see today," said Konopacky. "Since that gas had lost some of its oxygen, the planet ends up with less oxygen and less water than if it had formed through a gravitational instability." 
One of the discovery images of the system obtained at the Keck II telescope using the adaptive optics system and NIRC2 Near-Infrared Imager. The rectangle indicates the field-of-view of the OSIRIS instrument for planet C, Image courtesy of NRC-HIA, C. Marois and Keck Observatory. 
The planet is one of four gas giants known to orbit a star called HR 8799, 130 light-years from Earth. The authors and their collaborators previously discovered this planet, designated HR 8799c, and its three companions back in 2008 and 2010. Unlike most other planetary systems, whose presence is inferred by their effects on their parent star, the HR8799 planets can be individually seen. 
"We can directly image the planets around HR 8799 because they are all large, young, and very far from their parent star. This makes the system an excellent laboratory for studying exoplanet atmospheres," said coauthor Christian Marois, an astronomer at the National Research Council of Canada and another former LLNL postdoc. "Since its discovery, this system just keeps on surprising us." 
Although the planet does have water vapor, it's incredibly hostile to life -- like Jupiter, it has no solid surface, and it has a temperature of more than a thousand degrees Fahrenheit as it glows with the energy of its original formation. Still, this discovery provides clues as to the possibility of other Earthlike planets in other solar systems. "The fact that the HR 8799 giant planets may have formed the same way our own giant planets did is a good sign -- that same process also made the rocky planets close to the sun," Macintosh said. 
The research is funded by Livermore's Laboratory Directed Research and Development program. LLNL is leading the construction of a new planet-finding instrument for the Gemini South telescope in Chile, known as the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). Designed from the ground up for exoplanet detection, GPI (and similar new instruments at the Palomar and European Southern Observatories) will be capable of seeing planets that are much older, smaller and fainter than the HR-8799 giants. "GPI is the next big step in this field," said Macintosh, the principal investigator for the project. "It will be an order of magnitude more sensitive than we are now." 
Simulations predict that a large-scale GPI survey should discover dozens of new exoplanets. By studying planets at different stages of their evolution, the GPI science team will further chip away at the puzzle of how planets form. GPI is currently undergoing final testing at UC Santa Cruz and will ship to Chile later in the year. 
The W. M. Keck Observatory operates the largest, most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth. The two, 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawaii feature a suite of advanced instruments including imagers, multi-object spectrographs, high-resolution spectrographs, integral-field spectroscopy and a world-leading laser guide star adaptive optics system. The Observatory is a private 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and a scientific partnership of the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and NASA.
Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides solutions to our nation's most important national security challenges through innovative science, engineering and technology. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.


Donnerstag, 14. März 2013 - 14:30 Uhr

Astronomie - Bilanz des Meteoriten-Einschlags im Ural-Update





Es ist der schwerste Meteoritenunfall seit Jahrhunderten. Der Absturz eines Gesteinsbrockens über Russland hat große Schäden hinterlassen. Es gab viele Verletzte, die Menschen kämpfen jetzt mit der Kälte. Wissenschaftler entdecken erste Spuren des Einschlags.


Es waren dramatische Stunden in der russischen Millionenstadt Tscheljabinsk: Am Freitag kurz nach 9 Uhr morgens Ortszeit verglühte unter lautem Donner ein mehrere Meter großer Meteoritüber der Stadt im Ural. Gesteinsbrocken fielen wie Feuerbälle auf die Erde.



Chaos herrschte: Die Explosion löste Alarmanlagen aus, Mobiltelefone funktionierten nicht mehr. Der Meteorit raste über den Horizont und hinterließ eine lange, weiße Rauchwolke, die sogar im 200 Kilometer entfernten Jekaterinburg zu sehen war.

Die Bilanz zeigt, dass es sich um den wohl schwersten Meteoritenunfall der menschlichen Zivilisation handelt; bislang ereigneten sich Einschläge abseits großer Ortschaften, oder sie hinterließen weniger Schaden. Doch hier traf es eine Großstadt. Etwa 1100 Menschen wurden nach Angaben des Innenministeriums zumeist leicht verletzt, darunter waren laut Behördenvertretern mehr als 200 Kinder. Nach Angaben des Katastrophenschutzministeriums wurden mehr als 100 Menschen stationär in Krankenhäusern aufgenommen. Die meisten von ihnen seien durch umherfliegendes Glas getroffen worden.

Laut offiziellen Angaben hat die Druckwelle des Meteors 170.000 Quadratmeter Fensterglas zersplittern lassen. Rund 3000 Häuser sind betroffen, darunter 34 Krankenhäuser, 361 Kindergärten und Schulen. Die überwiegende Mehrheit der betroffenen Wohnhäuser sind große Mietskasernen mit Dutzenden oder gar Hunderten Parteien. Die ebenfalls in Mitleidenschaft gezogenen Zentralheizungen sollten schon am Abend wieder Wärme in jedes Haus in Tscheljabinsk pumpen, so hat es die Verwaltung versprochen. Auch das Gas soll wieder fließen. Doch was nutzt das, wenn der Wind durchs Fenster pfeift? Es wird eiskalt in der Region. Der Meteorit hat mit dem Temperatursturz allerdings nichts zu tun.

In ersten Schätzungen kalkulieren die Behörden die Schäden auf eine Milliarde Rubel, also rund 25 Millionen Euro, wie Gebietsgouverneur Michail Jurewitsch sagte. Die Größe der kosmische Bombe wird dabei immer deutlicher. Experten taxieren das Gewicht auf mindestens zehn Tonnen. Der Brocken wurde von der Luft binnen Sekunden von 50.000 Kilometern pro Stunde auf fast null gebremst. Er begann zu glühen, zerplatzte schließlich. Die Forscher rätselten: Haben die Trümmer die Erde erreicht? Wie heftig war der Aufprall? Haben die Geschosse Krater geschlagen?

Nun liegen erste Daten vor, die vermutlich den Aufprall dokumentieren: Um 2.22 Uhr deutscher Zeit gab es eine Erschütterung in der Stadt Tscheljabinsk, das zeigen die Aufzeichnungen von Erdbebensensoren. Bebenwellen breiteten sich in alle Richtungen aus, sie wurden von Messgeräten an vielen Orten registriert. Das Geoforschungszentrum Potsdam GFZ veröffentlichte ein "Seismogramm des Meteoriteneinschlags in Russland" - es zeigt, wie sich die Erschütterungen ausgebreitet haben.

Loch im Eis entdeckt

Auch der Geologische Dienst der USA (USGS) hat ein Beben in Tscheljabinsk gemessen. Es habe allerdings die Stärke null auf der Erdbebenskala. Aufgrund der schwachen Intensität sei nicht klar, ob die Erschütterungen im Boden oder in der Luft ausgelöst wurden, erklärt der USGS. Druckwellen von Explosionen können sich auch von der Luft auf den Boden übertragen.

Dass es aber wohl einen stärkeren Aufprall gegeben hat, zeigt die Meldung russischer Behörden. Sie haben am Ufer des Tschebarkul-Sees rund 80 Kilometer westlich von Tscheljabinsk ein etwa sechs Meter breites Loch entdeckt. Demzufolge muss dort ein Geschoss eingeschlagen sein.

Soldaten hätten den Bereich an dem zugefrorenen Gewässer abgesperrt, sagte Oberst Jaroslaw Roschtschupkin vom Zentralen Wehrbezirk. Einsatzkräfte berichteten von zahlreichen, etwa einen Zentimeter großen Splittern in der Nähe. Ob es noch irgendwo einen größeren Krater gibt, ist unklar. Der Meteorit ist in kleinere Teile zerborsten, so dass es keinen breiteren Trichter geben könnte.

Auch die Spur des Meteoriten durch die Atmosphäre haben Wissenschaftler mittlerweile registriert. "Wir haben jetzt Daten verschiedener Stationen vorliegen", sagt Gernot Hartmann von der Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR).

Beobachtungswarten in Aktjubinsk im nördlichen Kasachstan sowie im zentralrussischen Salessowo hätten den Druck des Gesteinsbrockens beim Flug durch die Lufthülle der Erde gemessen. Dabei empfingen die Stationen Schallwellen niedriger Frequenz, sogenannten Infraschall: "Es waren starke Signale. Man kann sie zeitlich zuordnen", erklärt Hartmann. Das Signal sei relativ langgezogen gewesen - ein Hinweis auf die Flugbahn des Himmelskörpers.

Jagd nach Fensterglas

Nun beginnt für die Menschen in Tscheljabinsk die Suche nach heilem Glas: Schon am Vormittag, unmittelbar nach dem Meteoriteneinschlag, berichteten russische Medien von einem Ansturm auf Fenster und Plexiglas. Die Stadt Tscheljabinsk hat ihren Bürgern kostenlos Glasersatz versprochen. Doch wer soll die Abertausenden Fenster so schnell austauschen? Die weniger betroffenen Nachbarstädte entsenden Handwerker nach Tscheljabinsk, so wie sonst Bergungstrupps in Katastrophengebiete.

Die Stadtväter selbst haben einen Aufruf gestartet: Freiwillige mit Erfahrung beim Fenstereinbau dringend gesucht. "Im Falle von Zerstörungen von Fensterglas in Wohnungen bitten wir darum, selbständig Maßnahmen zur Wiederherstellung zu ergreifen", steht auf Aushängen an den Straßenecken.

Nach dem Feuerball am Morgen kommt die Kälte der Nacht; die Temperaturen werden auf bis zu minus 20 Grad sinken. Am Abend wandte sich der Gouverneur noch einmal an die Bürger - mit einem Tipp für alle, die die erste Nacht ohne neue Fenster überstehen müssten: Sie sollten die Fenster, so gut es gehe, mit Decken verhängen.

Einige Russen reagierten mit wirtschaftlichem Instinkt auf die Naturkatastrophe: Die Nachrichtenagentur RIA Novosti berichtete, einige Bewohner der betroffenen Region hätten ihre Fenster zerstört, um vorzugeben, sie seien durch den Meteoriten zu Bruch gegangen. Andere boten im Internet mutmaßliche Teile des Meteorits zum Kauf an.

Quelle: Spiegel-Online


Update: 17.30 MEZ

A flaming meteorite streaked across the sky and slammed into central Russia on Friday with a massive boom that blew out windows and damaged thousands of buildings around the city of Chelyabinsk, injuring more than 1,000 people in the area, officials said.

The rare and spectacular phenomenon sparked confusion and panic among residents of the region and was captured by numerous witnesses on video that quickly spread to television and computer screens around the world.

"Suddenly, it was very, very horribly bright,” a local teacher in the Chelyabinsk Region told RIA Novosti. “Not like the lights got turned on, but as if everything was illuminated with unusual white light."

Police and other officials said around 1,200 people had been hurt, including more than 200 children, mostly in the Chelyabinsk Region near the Ural Mountains. By the end of the day, the number hospitalized was 50, according to the Emergencies Ministry. Earlier, at least two people were reported to be in "grave" condition.

The majority of those hurt had suffered cuts from broken glass, but the region's governor said two-thirds of the injuries were very light.

The blast was so powerful that it was detected by 11 of the 45 infrasound stations of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO)’s network designed to track atomic blasts across the planet.

Bill Cooke, lead for the Meteoroid Environments Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, said at a teleconference on Saturday (Moscow time) the object that exploded above Chelyabinsk was, in fact, a “tiny asteroid” measuring about 15 meters in diameter and weighing 7,000 metric tons.

According to the NASA expert, it entered the atmosphere at a shallow angle of about 20 degrees and exploded at the height of about 20-25 km, generating an energy shockwave equal to about 300 kilotons of TNT, or 20 nuclear bombs equal in force to the one dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. The vast part of the energy was absorbed by the atmosphere.

Later, as new information filtered in from monitoring stations around the world, NASA upped its estimates of the object's power, mass and size. An update posted on the NASA site estimates that 500 kilotons of energy was released, that it was 17 meters in size before entering the earth's atmosphere, and that it had a mass of 10,000 tons - making it 30 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb.

President Vladimir Putin ordered emergencies officials to provide "immediate" assistance to people affected by the meteorite. Officials said gas supplies were cut off to hundreds of homes in the Chelyabinsk Region as a safety precaution. Some 3,000 residential buildings were also damaged, Chelyabinsk city administration officials said. An estimated 20,000 emergency response workers have been mobilized.

Speaking to journalists on Saturday, Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov commended the teams working on the ground in the areas affected "a great deal of work has already been done, and we are now launching rebuilding work," adding "power, transport, and communications systems are all workign stably."

He also praised Chelyabinsk residents for what he called their restraint, patience and level-headedness.

Also speaking on Saturday, Chelyabinsk Region Governor Mikhail Yurevich said that repair work was well underway and that approximately 100,000 homeowners had been affected.

Background radiation levels reportedly remain unchanged. This was confirmed both by emergencies officials, and by the national nuclear agency, concerned because the area has a fair number of nuclear facilities.

Reports about whether this was one large meteorite or many smaller ones initially varied, but the national space agency, Roscosmos, confirmed by early afternoon that the object had been a single meteorite, a report given earlier by emergency officials.

“Verified information indicates that this was one meteorite which burned up as it approached Earth and disintegrated into smaller pieces,” deputy head of the Russian Emergencies Ministry press office, Elena Smirnykh, said.

Roscosmos stated the meteorite had been moving at a speed of 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) per second.

Officials are trying to determine where the fragments have landed. None have been recovered as of Saturday morning.


The Chelyabinsk governor said one fragment had fallen in a lake in his region, while others have been reported in the Tyumen, Kurgan and Sverdlovsk regions as well. Police said an eight-meter wide crater had been discovered near the Chelyabinsk lake. Radiation levels around the crater were reported to be normal.

A spokeswoman for the Russian emergencies ministry, Irina Rossius, said on Saturday a group of six divers is preparing to plunge into the Chebarkul Lake to search for meteorite fragments. The dive is scheduled to last about four hours.

Early in the day, emergency officials in neighboring Kazakhstan said they were searching for two unidentified objects that reportedly fell in the country's Aktobe region. But no meteorite fragments had been found by Friday evening, local time, leading to speculation that if meteors had entered the Earth's atmosphere over the Central Asian country they had been vaporized before making impact.

The European Space Agency (ESA) said there was no link between the meteorite and the 2012 DA14 asteroid which is due to pass close by the Earth later on Friday. NASA also said there was no connection because the asteriod and the "Russian meteorite" are on "very different paths."

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, speaking at an economic forum going on in Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region, called the meteorite “a symbol of the forum.”

“I hope that there will be no serious consequences, but it is a demonstration that it is not only the economy that is vulnerable, but our planet as well,” he said.

Recasts headline, lead, clarifies latest figures for injuries, adds paras 2, 6-8. Updated Saturday adding NASA's new estimate - para 9, details on cleanup operation, and the governor's comments.



Einen Tag nach dem Einschlag eines Meteoriten haben russische Kliniken noch immer einige der rund 1200 Verletzten behandelt.

Eine an der Wirbelsäule getroffene Frau wurde am Samstagmorgen mit einer Sondermaschine nach Moskau geflogen, wie das Zivilschutzministerium mitteilte. In Krankenhäusern der Region um Tscheljabinsk würden noch zwölf Erwachsene und drei Kinder behandelt. Beim folgenreichsten Meteoriteneinschlag seit Menschengedenken waren durch Gebäudeschäden insgesamt 100 000 Menschen betroffen. Dagegen hat der an der Erde vorbeigeschrammte Asteroid «2012 DA14» nicht einmal Satelliten beeinträchtigt.

In Russland setzten rund 24 000 Einsatzkräfte ihre Arbeit fort, um bei Temperaturen um die minus 20 Grad die fensterlosen Gebäude wieder winterfest zu machen. In Krankenhäusern etwa behalfen sich die Menschen mit Wärmefolien, um die Fenster provisorisch abzudichten. Der Gesamtschaden des Meteoriteneinschlags liege bei etwa einer Milliarde Rubel (25 Millionen Euro), Tendenz steigend, sagte Jurewitsch.

An der Vorderseite der Eisschnelllaufhalle von Tscheljabinsk entstand ein riesiges Loch, die zweite Etage stürzte ein und Teile des Daches wurden beschädigt. In der Arena, die im Vorjahr schon Gastgeber eines Weltcups war, sollen 2015 die Mehrkampf-Europameisterschaften stattfinden.

Der Gesteinsbrocken war russischen Astronomen zufolge mit einem Tempo von rund 20 Kilometern pro Sekunde - 72 000 Stundenkilometern - durch die Atmosphäre gerast, heizte sich zu einem glühenden Feuerball auf und zerplatzte in einer Höhe von 30 bis 50 Kilometern. Die US-Raumfahrtbehörde Nasa sprach von 20 Kilometern. Der Auftreffwinkel war nach Nasa-Angaben mit weniger als 20 Grad recht flach.

Russische Taucher suchten am Samstag drei Stunden lang in dem See Tscherbakul etwa 80 Kilometer von Tscheljabinsk entfernt nach Teilen des Meteoriten. Es sei aber nichts gefunden worden, sagte die Sprecherin des Zivilschutzministeriums, Irina Rossius, Moskauer Agenturen zufolge. Der bei Eisfischern beliebte See war zugefroren. Bilder zeigten ein kreisrundes Loch in der Eisfläche, das der Meteorit hinterlassen haben soll.

Die Behörden müssten künftig besser vorbereitet sein auf einen solchen Meteoriteneinschlag, sagte Zivilschutzminister Wladimir Putschkow. Deshalb werde nun nach dem Einschlag des Meteoriten an einem neuen System für eine schnellere Reaktion gearbeitet. «Er war schlicht zu klein, um von dem globalen Beobachtungssystem gesehen zu werden», sagte James Gleason von der Universität Michigan.

Nach Berechnungen der Nasa kreuzte der Himmelsbrocken zunächst die Bahnen von Merkur und Venus und kam dem Mars sogar recht nahe. Erst mit der Erde kollidierte er dann. «Einige Tausend Meteoriten treffen jeden Tag die Erde. Die große Mehrheit geht aber über Ozeanen und unbewohnten Gebieten nieder oder wird im Tageslicht gar nicht gesehen», teilte die Nasa mit. Die in der Nacht würden naturgemäß auch von den wenigsten Menschen bemerkt. «Diese Faktoren zusammengerechnet, bleiben nur eine Handvoll Meteoriten im Jahr, die wirklich registriert werden.»

Das Geschoss aus dem All stand in keinem Zusammenhang mit dem Asteroiden «2012 DA14», der am Freitagabend knapp an der Erde vorbeigeflogen war, wie die US-Raumfahrtbehörde Nasa mitteilte.

Nach Angaben der Europäischen Raumfahrtbehörde Esa wurden weltweit keine Esa-Satelliten- und Bodenstationen von dem Asteroiden gestört. «Auch sonst haben wir nichts von Auswirkungen gehört, obwohl der Asteroid durchaus in die Nähe anderer Satellitenbahnen gekommen ist», sagte Esa-Sprecher Bernhard von Weyhe in Darmstadt. «Es gab auch keine elektromagnetischen Störungen beim Vorbeiflug.» Nach ersten Esa-Auswertungen war der Asteroid rund 130 000 Tonnen schwer, hatte einen Durchmesser von etwa 50 Metern und enthielt große Anteile von Metall.

Die Esa hofft nun auf mehr Mittel zur Erforschung und Abwehr solcher Himmelskörper. «Wenn so ein großer Brocken eines Tages direkt auf die Erde zufliegen würde, müsste man eine Ablenkungsmission starten», sagte von Weyhe. «Derzeit sehen wir so etwas nicht, aber es gibt ein paar kritische Kandidaten in ein paar Jahrzehnten.» Der über Russland niedergegangene vergleichsweise kleine Meteorit habe gezeigt, «dieses Risiko ist nicht gleich null».

Quelle: Süddeutsche Zeitung


Update: 17.02.2013


We’re on notice to plan for the next meteor


Rush Holt (D) is a physicist and former assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. He represents New Jersey’s 12th District in the U.S. House. Donna F. Edwards, who represents Maryland’s 4th District, is the ranking Democrat on the House subcommittee on space.

A meteor broke apart over rural Russia on Friday morning, injuring at least 1,200 people. Hours later, an asteroid known as 2012 DA14 passed about 17,000 miles above Earth’s surface — a close shave in astronomical terms, passing nearer than many of our communications satellites. One was predicted; the other was not.

These events were unrelated, but they underscore how crucial it is that nations know, quickly, what is falling from the sky and what, if any, dangers are posed.

Every day about 40 tons of space debris hit the atmosphere, burn and settle to Earth, NASA has found. The vast majority of the detritus consists of meteoroids no larger than a grain of sand, but even tiny specks pack a wallop: A typical meteor hits Earth traveling at least seven miles per second, at least 30 times faster than a bullet shot from a handgun. That is why a tiny meteoroid can make such a spectacular shooting star.

According to the Russian Academy of Sciences, the meteor that disintegrated over Siberia on Friday weighed in the neighborhood of 10 tons. It was thought to be traveling at 10 to 12 miles per second when it broke apart.

Every year or so, such a meteor blazes through the sky somewhere over Earth. But every 100 years or so, Earth is hit by a meteor large enough to cause much more significant devastation. Such an impact occurred in 1908 in Tunguska, Russia, when a meteor 100 feet or so in diameter exploded in the Siberian wilderness, releasing about 1,000 times the amount of energy as the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

And every 100 million years or so, Earth is hit by a meteor large enough to cause mass extinctions, like the one at the end of the age of dinosaurs. These threats are minuscule on a day-to-day basis, but surely any existential threat to the human race must be taken seriously.

To help get a handle on this danger, NASA coordinates the Near-Earth Object Program, which searches for and tracks asteroids and comets that could approach the earth. As of this week, about 10,000 near-Earth objects have been discovered, including nearly 900 with a diameter of roughly a kilometer or larger. None is expected to hit Earth anytime soon, but many large objects are believed to remain undetected.

In 2005 Congress set a 15-year deadline for scientists to find 90 percent of the near-Earth objects greater than about 500 feet in diameter — those large enough to cause regional or global devastation. But the mandate has been chronically underfunded. The project would require several more dedicated telescopes. Last year the project received about $20 million, far less than the $50 million that the National Research Council estimated in 2010 was needed to reach the congressional goal by 2030, a decade late. Even when this goal is met, most small asteroids and comets — too small to cause global devastation but still large enough to cause damage far worse than just occurred in Russia — will remain undetected unless funding is significantly increased.

Another danger is that even if a meteor does not itself cause major damage, any resulting chaos or confusion could lead nations to overreact. In 2002, for example, a meteor exploded over the Mediterranean at a time when India and Pakistan were facing off over the disputed Kashmir region. The U.S. Space Command’s deputy director for operations warned a congressionally mandated commission that the meteor might have been misidentified as a nuclear attack, had it come apart over South Asia.

Many countries lack the United States’ sophisticated sensors that can help determine whether a large explosion is nuclear in nature. The damage that could occur if a nation were to misidentify a meteor explosion and launch a counterattack is chilling. Washington should do more to establish an international warning system that can provide credible, near-instant information to countries across the globe whenever a major explosion is detected.

More broadly, Congress should continue to invest in day-to-day disaster planning, including improving coordination among first-responders. Such investments would help us respond to relatively frequent events such as hurricanes or earthquakes, as well as infrequent events, such as meteor strikes and terrorist attacks.

When something explodes or falls from the atmosphere, the world needs to know what it is. Impacts like what occurred in Russia on Friday are certain to occur. We should make the investments necessary to track near-Earth objects and prepare for disasters of all kinds.

Quelle: The Washington Post


Update: 17.02.2013 / 14.30 MEZ


Russia scientists call for prevention after space rock blast

As officials hunt for pieces of the rock, scientists say the event over Chelyabinsk is a warning to implement a monitoring system to better detect celestial objects and avert catastrophes.

A large piece of the space rock is believed to have punched this hole in Chebarkul Lake, west of Chelyabinsk, Russia. Divers' initial search of the lake did not turn up any remnants of the object, which NASA called a "tiny asteroid."


As Russian authorities searched Saturday for remnants of the space object that startled residents of the southern Ural Mountain region a day earlier, scientists called its shock wave a loud warning that they hoped would inspire action to prevent potential catastrophes.

"When a small piece of rock would fall on the Earth 100 years ago, it could have caused minimal damage and would have stayed largely undetected, but Friday's accident fully demonstrated how vulnerable the technological civilization of today has become," Vladimir Lipunov, head of the Space Monitoring Laboratory with Moscow State University, said in an interview.

"It is high time for Russia to start heavily investing in building an advanced space danger monitoring and warning system, and above that, a system capable of destroying such super bombs falling on us from the skies," he said.

The scientist's remarks echoed concern displayed by government officials.

"Today neither Russia nor the United States is capable of shooting down objects from outer space," tweeted Dmitry Rogozin, vice premier in charge of the nation's defense industry.

What NASA described as a "tiny asteroid" wreaked havoc in the densely populated and highly industrialized Chelyabinsk region early Friday, its shock wave resulting in injuries to more than 1,100 people and causing millions of dollars in damage to buildings and disrupted phone and Internet communications.

The massive sonic boom damaged 3,000 houses, 34 hospitals and clinics, and 360 schools, as well as several businesses, officials said. At least three hockey games were canceled because of damage to the local rink.

Regional Gov. Mikhail Yurevich told reporters Saturday that damage exceeded $33 million but that 30% of the windows broken by the shock wave had already been replaced. About 20,000 municipal employees, emergency workers and volunteers worked around the clock to fix the windows in a region where the overnight temperature fell to minus-4 degrees.

Police have collected several small pieces of a black rock-like substance believed to be from the space object that broke apart as it exploded over the area, Interfax reported. Divers finished their initial inspection of Chebarkul Lake, about 40 miles west of Chelyabinsk, but found no traces of the object, a big chunk of which was believed to have fallen into the lake, breaking the thick ice.

The Chelyabinsk region has long been one of the most important military industrial regions of Russia, where you "can't drive a mile without passing a defense or a nuclear industry installation," Lipunov said.

"We should be thankful to fate that this meteor, in fact, was a blessing in disguise, and instead of destroying a significant part of Russia with quite dire consequences to the rest of the world, it sent us a clear warning signal by simply blowing up a bunch of windows and lightly injuring over 1,000 people," the scientist said.

Rogozin said that on Monday he would provide Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev with proposals on possible ways to detect space objects approaching Earth and reduce the danger.

Lipunov said his monitoring system of four 15.7-inch telescopes deployed across Russia was able to produce a high-quality two-hour video of the 2012 DA14 asteroid, a much larger space rock that coincidentally passed close to Earth on Friday. But he said his lab could not discern smaller asteroids and meteors, which can also pose a grave risk.

Many Russian experts say that government funding for a monitoring system should be reinstated and that it should be equipped with 59-inch telescopes like those in the United States.

"Americans can, for example, detect a dangerous object and calculate that it can fall somewhere in the Urals, but that doesn't concern them," Alexander Bagrov, a senior researcher with the Astronomy Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Russia-24, a government news television network.

Bagrov spoke in favor of creating an early warning system of satellites monitoring space for signs of approaching danger, but Lipunov countered that a space-based system would be more expensive and could take a decade to install, and even then it would not be as reliable as an Earth-based system equipped with powerful telescopes.

In the meantime, residents of the region relived Friday's momentary panic and congratulated one another for surviving what they termed "the apocalypse."

"I am being bombed from outer space by some superior force," one user posted on his social media account, recalling his immediate reaction.

"It was a fantastic feeling how we were all united by our common [doom], as everybody was sharing with everybody else how scared he was," another user wrote.

"As these people were united in their horror and their panic on Friday in the Chelyabinsk region," said Lipunov, "so the governments of the most developed countries should unite in creating a system of warning and global protection from surprise attack from space."

Quelle: Los Angeles Times


YEKATERINBURG, February 17 - Over 24,000 workers and 4,300 pieces of equipment are involved in the effort to clear up the damage caused by a meteor that shook Russia’s Urals Region, the regional Emergences Center reported on Sunday.

A flaming meteorite streaked across the sky and slammed into central Russia on Friday with a massive boom that blew out windows and damaged thousands of buildings around the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, injuring more than 1,000 people in the area.

“As of 06:00 a.m. on Sunday, work has been done to replace window glass in 1,658 residential buildings, 34 health care organizations, 62 educational establishments and four social facilities. Window frames and glass have been restored on an area of 37,800 square meters. A total of 122 potential hazardous facilities have been inspected,” the Emergencies Center said.

The meteor blast, a rare and spectacular phenomenon, sparked confusion and panic among residents of the region and was captured by numerous witnesses on video that quickly spread to television and computer screens around the world.

Police and other officials said around 1,200 people had been hurt, including more than 200 children, mostly in the Chelyabinsk Region near the Ural Mountains. By the end of Friday, the number hospitalized was 50, according to the Emergencies Ministry. Earlier, at least two people were reported to be in "grave" condition.

The majority of those hurt had suffered cuts from broken glass, but the region's governor said two-thirds of the injuries were very light.

The blast was so powerful that it was detected by 11 of the 45 infrasound stations of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)’s network designed to track atomic blasts across the planet.

"It was like a train falling down from the sky," a Chelyabinsk resident told RIA Novosti, adding that most people at first thought that a warplane had exploded above the city.



Suche nach Meteoritenresten eingestellt

Die russischen Behörden haben die Suche nach Überresten des in der Nähe von Tscheljabinsk niedergegangenen Meteoriten eingestellt. Die Helfer sollen sich auf die Aufräumarbeiten konzentrieren.


Nach dem verheerenden Meteoritenschauer mit etwa 1200 Verletzten im Ural haben die russischen Behörden ihre Suche nach Überresten des Himmelskörpers am Sonntag eingestellt. Die im zugefrorenen Tschebarkul-See nahe der betroffenen Stadt Tscheljabinsk eingesetzten Taucher seien abgezogen worden, sagte ein Sprecher des Katastrophenschutzministeriums in Moskau. Die Taucher hatten dort nach Teilen des am Freitag niedergegangenen rund zehn Tonnen schweren Meteoriten gesucht. Ein Loch im Eis von etwa acht Metern Durchmesser sei aber offenbar nicht auf den Meteoriten zurückzuführen, sagte der Sprecher.

Den Ministeriumsangaben zufolge sollen sich alle Helfer nun auf die am Samstag begonnen Aufräumarbeiten in Tscheljabinsk konzentrieren. Über der mehr als eine Million Einwohner zählenden Stadt und der gleichnamigen Region war der Meteorit mit einem grellen Blitz und einer Druckwelle explodiert. Am Sonntag lagen weiterhin etwa 40 Menschen in Krankenhäusern.

Quelle: N24


Update: 18.02.2013


Wissenschaftler finden im Ural Meteoriten-Überreste
Hauptfragment auf Grund eines gefrorenen Sees vermutet
Russische Wissenschaftler haben nach eigenen Angaben Teile des Meteoriten gefunden, dessen Explosion im Ural schwere Schäden angerichtet und rund 1200 Menschen verletzt hatte. Nachdem die Behörden die Suche nach Fragmenten eingestellt hatten, verkündeten Mitglieder der russischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, sie hätten Meteoritenteile entdeckt. Die Forscher vermuten das größte Stück des Meteoriten auf dem Grund eines Sees.
Die in der Nähe des Tschebarkul-Sees in Zentralrussland gefundenen Gesteinsfragmente hätten "die Zusammensetzung eines Meteoriten", sagte der Expeditionsleiter Viktor Grochowski laut der Nachrichtenagentur RIA Nowosti. Der Stein habe einen Eisengehalt von schätzungsweise zehn Prozent, außerdem enthalte er Chrysolit und Sulfit.
Die Fragmente seien in Jekaterinburg untersucht worden, erklärte Grochowskis Ural-Universität auf ihrer Internetseite. Die Veröffentlichung war mit einem Foto versehen, auf dem jemand einen glänzenden schwarzen Stein zwischen Daumen und Zeigefinger hält. "Dieser Meteorit gehört zur Klasse gewöhnlicher Chondriten", hieß es in der Erklärung weiter. Chondriten bilden die mit Abstand häufigste Form der auf der Erde gefundenen Meteoritenteile.
Das Fundstück werde voraussichtlich "Meteorit von Tschebarkul" genannt werden, teilte die Universität mit. Die gefundenen Trümmer deuteten daraufhin, dass das Hauptfragment des Meteoriten auf dem Grund des Tschebarkul-Sees liege, sagte Grochowski der Nachrichtenagentur Interfax. Bislang seien im Schnee 53 Meteoritenteilchen gefunden worden, keines mehr als einen Zentimeter groß.
Taucher des russischen Katastrophenministeriums hatten am Wochenende unter einem etwa sechs Meter breiten Loch in der Eisdecke des Tschebarkul-Sees nach dem Meteoritenstück gesucht. Die Tauchgänge bei Außentemperaturen von minus 20 Grad endeten ergebnislos, die Suche wurde am Sonntag offiziell eingestellt. Es sei illusorisch, etwas in dem rund 1,5 Meter dicken Schlickgrund des Sees zu finden, sagte Katastrophenschutzminister Wladimir Putschkow.
Privatsammler boten am Wochenende in Internetanzeigen bis zu 300.000 Rubel (rund 7500 Euro) für Teile des Meteoriten. Die Behörden riegelten deshalb das Einschlagsgebiet ab und ließen weder Medienvertreter noch auf eigene Faust recherchierende Wissenschaftler zu dem Einschlagsloch auf dem See vor. Zudem ermittelte die Polizei nach eigenen Angaben gegen Verkäufer gefälschter Meteoritenteile.
Als der Meteorit am Freitagmorgen über der mehr als eine Million Einwohner zählenden Stadt Tscheljabinsk und der gleichnamigen Region mit einem grellen Blitz und einer Druckwelle explodierte, barsten unter anderem zahlreiche Fensterscheiben. Fast 5000 Gebäude wurden beschädigt. Mehr als 24.000 Katastrophenschutzmitarbeiter und Freiwillige waren am Wochenende im Einsatz, um zerstörte Fenster zu ersetzen.
Nach Angaben der örtlichen Behörden wurden 1240 Menschen, darunter fast 300 Kinder, durch die Folgen des Meteoritenschauers verletzt. Das russische Gesundheitsministerium sprach am Montag von rund 1500 Verletzten. Wissenschaftler der US-Weltraumbehörde NASA gehen davon aus, dass die in der Atmosphäre freigesetzte Energie der Meteoritenexplosion vom Freitag etwa 30 Mal höher war als die Sprengkraft der Atombombe von Hiroshima.
Quelle: Die Welt

Das ist ein Teilchen von Russlands Meteorit

Moskau - Erste Teilchen des über Russland abgestürzten Meteoriten sind nach Angaben von Experten gefunden. Einen Namen hat der Brocken aus dem All jetzt auch.

Russische Forscher haben erste Teilchen des Meteoriten gefunden, der etwa 1200 Menschen verletzt hat.
Nach dem Meteoriten-Einschlag in Russland mit etwa 1200 Verletzten haben Forscher angeblich Fragmente des Himmelskörpers gefunden. Tests hätten ergeben, dass es sich um echte Meteoritenteile aus dem Weltall handele, sagte Viktor Grochowski von der Universität in Jekaterinburg am Montag einer Mitteilung zufolge. Wissenschaftler hätten rund um den Tschebarkul-See bei der Stadt Tscheljabinsk insgesamt 53 Teilchen entdeckt, die alle nur wenige Millimeter groß seien. Die Behörden hatten die Suche am Vorabend eingestellt.
Die Überbleibsel bestünden zu bis zu zehn Prozent aus metallischem Eisen, außerdem aus dem Mineral Olivin und Sulfite-Salzen. „Das ist ein klassischer Chondrit, eine der verbreitetsten Meteoriten-Arten“, sagte Grochowski. Der Fund solle „Meteorit von Tschebarkul“ heißen. Der Himmelskörper war am Freitag am Ural auf die Erde gerast. Dabei waren auch etwa 5000 Gebäude beschädigt worden.
Bei Temperaturen um minus 20 Grad Celsius gingen in der Großstadt Tscheljabinsk die Aufräumarbeiten weiter. Alle Krankenhäuser und Schulen hätten geöffnet, teilten die Behörden mit. Viele Fenster waren noch mit Holz abgedichtet. Wegen der großen Nachfrage werde das Glas knapp, berichtete die Zeitung „Kommersant“. 46 Verletzte, darunter 3 Kinder, lagen noch in Kliniken.
Quelle: Merkur Online
Update: 19.02.2013
Chelyabinsk meteorite fragments are already on sale on one of the most popular online auctions, Ebay.
Not only the citizens of Russia are among the vendors but also Americans are involved.
A resident of St. Petersburg has advertised the sale of a black stone nearly the size of a man's palm which he says is part of the meteorite which blasted down from the heavens on February 15. The item has been declared open for auction with the current bid standing at $1,125.00.
According to reports from the Ministry of the Interior in the Chelyabinsk Region, the police are monitoring the Internet sale of pieces of the meteorite which crashed in the Urals.
Over the past few days many different sites have appeared offering the sale of meteorite fragments at prices starting at R10,000 and going all the way up to half a million rubles.
Chelyabinsk meteorite ‘made close shave with airliner’
It has just transpired that the Chelyabinsk meteorite that struck on Friday made a close shave with a Bombardier CRJ-200 airliner, as it was making a landing approach to Chelyabinsk Airport. The pilot, Captain Alexander Arkhipov, of Ak Bars Airlines, says he felt the heat and observed the heavenly intruder breaking up into several fragments.
He also says that on the videos shot from the ground the meteorite looks very different.
His plane landed safely and on time.
Scientists explained why telescopes could not see the Chelyabinsk meteor
Astronomers could not trace the Chelyabinskmeteorbecause this celestial body was approaching from the Sun, and telescopes did not see it in the sunshine, Deputy Director of the Sternberg Astronomical Institute at the Moscow State University Sergei Lamzin said.
"It was impossible to detect it, because it was flying fromthe Sun. But if it was flying at night, our MASTER telescopes’network could have traced it", Lamzin said to journalists.
MASTER telescopes can observe bursts in the Universe, watch comets, meteors and space debris. The system includes telescopes, located in the Tunka valley, Moscow region, Kislovodsk, in the Urals and in Blagoveschensk.
In the period of time around the fall of the Chelyabinsk meteor, the Russian Meteor weather satellite registered an increase in the concentration of water molecules in the orbit that possibly indicates that the space "guest" was a comet.
Meteorite rush seizes Russia
Scores of online bargain deals have spawned all over the Internet following the Friday meteorite crash in central Russia’s Chelyabinsk, with many opportunities grabbing at the change of making easy profits from auctioning off what they claim to be fragments of the genuine meteor.
Some sellers were reportedly asking as much as $4,000 per piece over the weekend, as the meteorite rush reached its peak. Many vendors claimed they either worked at the sites devastated by the meteorite that burst to pieces over the Russian city on Friday or came to possess the precious bits of space rock through trading with the locals.
One of the sellers wrote that he got his 263-gram fragment from the Chelyabinsk zinc factory rubble and described how it smelt of sulphur, while another claimed he had carried off a 200-kilo rock from the impact site near a Chelyabinsk lake.
Researchers say the meteorite exploded into at least seven large pieces and hundreds of small ones. One of the bigger fragments plunged into the local Chebarkul Lake, forming an 8-meter ice hole.
Most of meteorite mass sunken in Lake Chebarkul - scientists (VIDEO)
Most of the meteorite that fell over the Chelyabinsk region on Friday morning and fragments of which Urals Federal University scientists have found is sunken in the Lake Chebarkul, expedition leader, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Meteorite Committee Viktor Grokhovsky told Interfax on Monday.
"The fragments discovered come from the meteorite fusion crust, which means most of the meteorite mass is sunken in the lake," he said. The expert estimated the size of the sunken meteorite at 50-60 centimeters.
"We have found tiny pieces, about 50-53 in all, and each is measured in millimeters. That was all we could find in the snow around the crater," he said.
New expeditions of Urals scientists to the meteorite drop zone are in question: scientists lack funds and there has been no official order for their work. "It was our personal initiative. Being a committee member, I could not have stayed aside so I sent the guys there," Grokhovsky said.
The search zone will be very wide, he said. Grokhovsky predicted that meteorite fragments might be found not only in the Lake Chebarkul. University specialists are preparing for detailed analysis of the fragments. They have identified the meteorite as a regular chondrite, a stone meteorite containing about 10% of iron.
Scientists confirm Chebarkul Lake meteorite found in Russian Urals as meteorite with an iron content of about 10%
Scientists have discovered in Lake Chebarkul fragments of the meteorite, which fell on Friday morning near Chelyabinsk. Their extraterrestrial nature has been corroborated by chemical analysis, reported member of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Meteorites Victor Grokhovsky of the Urals Federal University.
Previously there was information that an expedition comprising Urals University staff had set out to Chelyabinsk tasked with finding fragments of the meteorite.
"We literally only just finished the studies, and confirm that the particles found by us in the vicinity of Lake Chebarkul are of meteorite nature. This meteorite is classified as a chondrite; it’s a stone meteorite with an iron content of about 10%. Most likely, it will be given the name Chebarkul meteorite," said Grokhovsky.
“All the medical, educational and social buildings have been restored. Studies at all children’s educational institutions in the Chelyabinsk Region will continue on Monday,” Rospotrebnadzor said in a statement.
Frams: guardian-Video
The first firm details of the 15 February asteroid impact in Russia, the largest in more than a century, are becoming clear. ESA is carefully assessing the information as crucial input for developing the Agency’s asteroid-hunting effort.
At 03:20 GMT on 15 February, a natural object entered the atmosphere and disintegrated in the skies over Chelyabinsk, Russia.
Extensive video records indicate a northeast to southwest path at a shallow angle of 20° above the horizontal. The entry speed is estimated at around 18 km/s – more than 64 000 km/h.
According to calculations by Peter Brown at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, drawing on extremely low-frequency sound waves detected by a global network, the object is estimated to have been about 17 m across with a mass of 7000–10 000 tonnes when it hit atmosphere.
It exploded with a force of nearly 500 kilotons of TNT – some 30 times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb – around 15–20 km above the ground.
With our current understanding of near-Earth objects, events of this magnitude are expected once every several of tens to 100 years.
Nicolas Bobrinsky, Head of ESA’s Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme, and Detlef Koschny, responsible for the programme’s Near-Earth Object activity, responded to questions about the event.
Was this event related to the predicted flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14, which passed Earth at 19:27 GMT that same day at just 28 000 km?
DVK: The trajectory, the location of entry into the atmosphere and the large time separation between the two events indicate that the Russian object was unrelated to 2012 DA14.
What caused the damage on the ground? Did pieces hit people or buildings?
DVK: Many media reported that an airburst caused window breakage and some structural damage in downtown Chelaybinsk. Normally, some damage begins to occur at around five times normal air pressure at sea level. Widespread window damage is expected around 10–20 times this value.
As the explosion and fireball progressed along a shallow trajectory, the cylindrical blast wave would have propagated directly to the ground and would have been intense.
The terminal part of the explosion probably likely occurred almost directly over Chelyabinsk. This was perhaps the single greatest contributor to the blast damage.
We are waiting for confirmation from the Russian authorities that pieces of the object – bits of meteorite – have been found in the region. We’re unaware of any media reports of anyone or any structure being hit by any debris from the object itself.
Quelle: ESA


Update: 22.02.2013



Meteorite Fragment Brought to Moscow


MOSCOW, February 21  – The first fragment of the meteorite which spectacularly crashed to earth in central Russia last week was delivered to Moscow for analysis on Friday.
“This is the first piece, but it’s not the only one our colleagues collected,” said Mikhail Nazarov, head of the science laboratory where the meteorite will be analyzed.
The scientists’ first tasks will be to weigh and photograph the fragment, he said. The laboratory will then carry out a detailed analysis of the meteorite, Nazarov added.
Over 1,000 people were injured when the massive meteorite streaked across the sky over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on February 15.
NASA estimates the meteorite was roughly 50 feet (15 meters) in diameter when it struck Earth's atmosphere on Friday, travelling several times faster than the speed of sound, and exploded into a fireball brighter than the morning sun.
Fragments of the meteorite have been found in an eight-meter wide crater in the region’s Lake Chebarkul, scientists said earlier this week.
Twenty-five of the people hospitalized as a result of the meteorite that hit Russia last week have now been discharged, the local emergencies ministry confirmed on Friday.
“As of 07:00 hours on February 22, 2013, 25 people, including 11 children, were discharged from treatment centers,” the local emergencies ministry statement reads.
Windows were shattered and walls damaged by shockwaves in thousands of buildings, mostly residential, as the meteorite streaked through the sky over the Chelyabinsk Region on February 15. Over 1,500 people were injured, mostly by flying glass. Local officials say over 60 people were hospitalized.
The total bill for the damage is estimated at 1 billion rubles ($33 million). On Monday, Chelyabinsk Region asked Russia’s Federal Government for $16.6 million worth of aid to help repair damage caused by the meteorite.
To date, local emergencies ministry officials say that repairs have been carried out to over 4,000 buildings that had their windows blown out by the blast. Since this is a region of Russia in which temperatures are below freezing throughout winter, currently hovering around 10 degrees Fahrenheit, these repairs – especially to schools and homes – are vital.
Quelle: RIA Novosti  
 Legenden-Bildung geht weiter : 
Nur die Hälfte der Russen glauben den Berichten über dem Meteoriteneinschlag in der russischen Ural-Region nahe Tscheljabinsk, heißt es in der Freitagsausgabe der „Nowyje Iswestija“ unter Berufung auf eine eigene Umfrage.
Der Rest der Umfrageteilnehmer ist der Ansicht, dass es sich entweder um einen Waffentest, um den Absturz eines Satelliten oder um die Ankunft von Außerirdischen handelt. Nach Ansicht von Soziologen glauben viele Russen, dass Pannen des Militärs immer noch verschwiegen werden, wie es häufig in der Sowjetunion der Fall war.
Dreimal so viele Befragte sind der Ansicht, dass es sich bei dem Vorfall um ein außerirdisches Raumschiffs statt um den Absturz eines Satelliten handelt. Für weniger glaubwürdig halten die Russen die Version über einen niedergegangenen Stern.
Einige der Befragten glauben an keine in der Umfrage angegebene Version. Vielleicht sind sie der Ansicht, dass die Explosion über dem Ural ein Vorbote für eine näher rückende Apokalypse, einen außerirdischen Energieknall bzw. eine Massen-Halluzination war.
Laut Meinungsforscher Alexej Graschdankin glauben vor allem ältere Russen nicht an die offizielle Version: „Die Menschen erinnern sich an die sowjetische Vergangenheit, als Pannen bei verschiedenen Tests verheimlicht wurden.“
Quelle: Ria Novosti
Update: 25.02.2013
YEKATERINBURG, February 25 (RIA Novosti) - Scientists from Russia's Urals Federal University have discovered a meteorite fragment weighing more than one kilogram (2.2 lbs), the largest found so far from the meteorite strike that hit the Urals region on February 15, University expedition chief Viktor Grokhovsky said on Monday.
A total of more than 100 fragments have been found by the expedition along a 50 kilometer (30 mile) trail under the meteorite's flight path, he said.
Over 1,500 people were injured and thousands of buildings damaged when the massive meteorite streaked across the sky over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk.
US space agency NASA estimates the meteorite was roughly 15 meters (50 feet) in diameter when it struck Earth's atmosphere, travelling several times the speed of sound, and exploded into a fireball brighter than the morning sun.
Fragments of the meteorite have been found in an eight-meter (25 feet) wide crater in the region’s Lake Chebarkul, scientists said earlier this week.
One-Kilo Meteorite Fragment Found
Update: 27.02.2013    

Astronomen entdecken, woher Meteorit von Tscheljabinsk angeflogen kam

Kolumbianische Astronomen haben den Ursprung des Meteoriten festgestellt, der Mitte Februar über Zentralrussland explodierte.
Mit Hilfe von Amateuraufnahmen des fallenden Meteoriten konnten Wissenschaftler die Flugbahn des kosmischen Objekts durch die Erdatmosphäre bestimmen und dann seine Umlaufbahn im Sonnensystem rekonstruieren.
Die Forschung ergab, dass das gefallene Objekt der Abart von steinernen Meteoriten angehört hatte, die besser als Apollos bekannt sind, deren Umlaufbahnen die Umlaufbahn der Erde von außen kreuzen.
Offenbar drehte sich der Meteorit vor der Begegnung mit der Erde auf einer elliptischen Umlaufbahn um die Sonne.
Moskau - Knapp zwei Wochen nach dem Meteoriteneinschlag in Russland haben Taucher mögliche Krater auf dem Grund des Tschebarkul-Sees gefunden.
Das gebe neue Hoffnung auf die Entdeckung der größten Teile des Himmelskörpers, sagte die Sprecherin der Stadt Tschebarkul, Ljubow Rudometowa, am Mittwoch der Agentur Itar-Tass zufolge. Eine etwa drei Meter dicke Schlammschicht am Boden erschwere die Suche. Ein Team um den Experten Viktor Grochowski aus Jekaterinburg will an diesem Donnerstag zu dem See aufbrechen, um die Nachforschungen fortzusetzen.
Die Druckwelle des am 15. Februar über Tscheljabinsk am Uralgebirge explodierten Meteoriten hatte rund 7000 Gebäude beschädigt. Durch berstendes Glas verletzten sich etwa 1500 Menschen.
Geplant sei nun, den Boden des Sees mit Spezialgeräten abzusuchen, sagte Grochowski. Er vermutet, dass das Hauptstück des Meteoriten in dem Gewässer liegt. Nach einer ersten Tauchexpedition am 16. Februar hatten die Behörden die Suche zunächst eingestellt. Damals hatte es geheißen, das gezeigte Loch im Eis habe wohl einen anderen Ursprung.
Die Forscher aus der Uralstadt Jekaterinburg hatten zuletzt mehrere Fundstücke von Landexpeditionen präsentiert, das größte wiegt ein Kilogramm.
Quelle: HNA
Taucher haben am Grund des Tschebarkulsees im Gebiet Tscheljabinsk in Russland, wo der Meteorschauer verzeichnet wurde, mehrere Trichter entdeckt, in denen sich vermutlich größere Meteoritenteile befinden können. Allerdings konnte der Meteorit wegen der drei Meter dicken Schlickschicht nicht gesehen werden.
Am 28. Februar wird ein Spezialisten-Team aus Jekaterinburg eine magnetische Untersuchung des Seegrundes unternehmen, mit deren Hilfe die tatsächliche Größe der Bruchstücke bewertet werden kann.
Der Meteorschauer wurde am 15. Februar in fünf Regionen Russlands registriert. Infolge des Meteoriten-Absturzes wurden mehr als 1.500 Menschen betroffen.
Quelle: Stimme Russlands
Update: 1.03.2013
Forscher aus Moskau und Nowossibirsk haben die Primärforschung der Splitter des Tscheljabinsk-Meteoriten beendet und erklärt, dass derartige Meteoriten bisher nie auf dem russischen Territorium entdeckt worden waren.
Der Meteorit erfolgte anhand der Rasterelektronenmikroskope und eines Chromatographen und Massenspektrometers. Es wurde festgestellt, dass der Meteorit ein gewöhnlicher Chondrit mit einem sehr niedrigem Eisengehalt aber mit relativ großen Chondren ist. Forscher vermuten, dass diese Angaben helfen werden, die Abläufe in den frühen Phasen der Entwicklung des Sonnensystems zu verstehen.
Update: 14.03.2013
Beim Meteoriten-Niedergang im Februar am Ural haben es nach Angaben der russischen Wissenschaftsakademie etwa 1000 Tonnen meteoritischer Substanzen und damit nur zehn Prozent der Masse dieses Himmelskörpers bis zu Erdoberfläche geschafft.
Der Rest sei zu Staub zerborsten und habe sich in der Atmosphäre zerstreut, teilte Erik Galimow, Direktor des Wernadski-Instituts für Geo- und analytische Chemie an der Russischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, am Donnerstag mit. Das Anfangsgewicht des Meteoriten werde auf 10000 bis 18000 Tonnen und sein Durchmesser auf 17 bis 20 Meter geschätzt. Etwa 1000 Tonnen davon hätten die Erdoberfläche erreicht. Die Wissenschaftsakademie habe eine Suchmannschaft ausgeschickt, die etwa drei Kilo Meteoritensubstanz gefunden habe.
Die Meteoritenteile seien in einem 100 bis 150 Kilometer langen und 20 Kilometer breiten Landabschnitt niedergegangen, erzählte Galimows Kollege Dmitri Bajukow, an der Expedition teilgenommen hatte. Er hofft, dass das Gros der Meteoritenteile gefunden werde, nachdem der Schnee geschmolzen sei.

Der Leiter des Meteoritik-Labors Michail Nasarow schätzt die Energie, die bei der Explosion des Meteoriten freigesetzt wurde, auf 500 Kilotonnen. Doch auf die Stadt Tscheljabinsk, über der der Brocken explodierte, sei davon höchstens eine Kilotonne entfallen. 
Ein Meteorit war am 15. Februar am Ural in der Atmosphäre eingetreten und explodiert. Durch die Wucht der Druckwelle zerbarsten tausende Fenster, Türen wurden eingedrückt. Etwa 1200 Menschen wurden durch Glassplitter verletzt.

Tags: Tscheljabinsk-Meteorit Ural-Meteorit Chelyabinsk meteorite fragments 


Weitere 10 Nachrichten nachladen...