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MOSCOW, March 19 (Itar-Tass) – The meteor that slammed into the area of Chelyabinsk, an industrial city in the Urals, on a bright winter morning last month, was at least 289 mln years old, the director of the Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, Erik Galimov, said at a meeting of the Russian Academy of Sciences Presidium on Tuesday.
“The meteor’s substance is about 4.5 bln years old. But the event that caused the meteor to break off the parent space body occurred nearly 289 mln years ago,” he said. Galimov explained that he was using the term "event" to what he thought was a collision, which resulted in the fragmentation of the "parent" body. After that the Chelyabinsk meteor started its independent journey in space.
Galimov believes that the meteor was later involved at least in one more collision.
“Apparently, tens of thousands years ago the meteor collided with another space body to receive multiple cracks," he said, adding that this explained why the flash of light over Chelyabinsk was so bright.
"The half-cracked meteor easily fell apart into many small pieces,” Galimov concluded.