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THE SIKHOTE ALIN

The Sikhote Alin meteorite is classified as an iron meteorite in the IIAB group. This group has the lowest concentration of nickel in iron meteorites and is formed from the metallic core of a celestial body. The age of this group has been estimated using a radiometric dating process involving Rhenium-osmium isotopes, putting their formation at over 4 billion years ago.

It is composed of approximately 93% iron, 5.9% nickel, 0.42% cobalt, 0.46% phosphorus, and 0.28% sulfur, with trace amounts of germanium and iridium. Minerals present include taenite, plessite, troilite, chromite, kamacite, and schreibersite.



At around 10:30 on 12 February 1947, eyewitnesses in the Sikhote-Alin Mountains, Primorye, Soviet Union, observed a large bolide brighter than the sun that came out of the north and descended at an angle of about 41 degrees. The bright flash and the deafening sound of the fall were observed for 300 kilometres (190 mi) around the point of impact not far from Luchegorsk and approximately 440 km (270 mi) northeast of Vladivostok. A smoke trail, estimated at 32 km (20 mi) long, remained in the sky for several hours.


As the meteor, traveling at a speed of about 14 km/s (8.7 mi/s), entered the atmosphere, it began to break apart, and the fragments fell together. At an altitude of about 5.6 km (3.5 mi), the largest mass apparently broke up in a violent explosion called an air burst.