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Science: Fallen Planet?

1 minute read

Astronomers throughout most of the world got that frustrated feeling last week over a bit of news that plodded, with maddening deliberation, out of Russia. According to V. O. Fesenkov, chairman of the Meteorite Committee of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Science, a “”minor planet” landed on eastern Siberia last Feb. 12. The fragments of iron, nickel and cobalt were said to have smashed through the soil, penetrated the bedrock, and left several dozen craters—the biggest one 75 feet in diameter.

What hit Siberia was probably a wandering meteorite, rather than a “minor planet” belonging to the sun’s very orderly family. If it had fallen anywhere else, the world’s astronomers would have pounced on it before the crater was cold. They could only hope that Soviet scientists were making accurate, if tardy observations.

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