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  • Originally published 05/30/2013

    Ancient iron beads linked to meteorite

    Since it was found in 1911, an Egyptian iron bead has sparked wonder and debate over how it was produced — made around 3,300 BC, it predates the region's first known iron smelting by thousands of years. Now, researchers say the iron was made in space and delivered to Earth via meteorite."Tube-shaped beads excavated from grave pits at the prehistoric Gerzeh cemetery, approximately 3300 BCE, represent the earliest known use of iron in Egypt," the scientists write in the May 20 issue of .Early studies of the beads found their iron to be rich in nickel, a key indicator that the metal originated from a meteorite. But researchers contested that idea in the 1980s, suggesting the metal was instead the result of early attempts at smelting....

  • Originally published 02/15/2013

    Russia's Other Meteor Explosions

    The Internet is ablaze today* over astounding pictures and video from Chelyabinsk†, a mid-sized city in Russia's Ural Mountains about a hundred miles from the border with Kazakhstan, which show what appears to be a flaming meteorite streaking across the sky before exploding at high altitude (for the latest updates on this story, check out Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy blog over at Slate). The brilliance of the object as it moved across the sky rivaled the sun, and the shock wave from the explosion below out windows in the city below, causing over 1,000 injuries.This video shows the course of the fireball across the sky:Another video, taken from a car dashboard cam:And this video, shot a few moments later, features at the 27-second mark the massive shock wave that broke thousands of windows across the region:

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