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Divers Retrieve Biggest Piece of Meteorite So Far

Divers have lifted from a lake what they believe to be the biggest fragment so far of the meteorite that exploded over the Chelyabinsk region in February, local officials said Friday.

The rock, weighing an estimated 4.8 kilograms, is "the largest [piece] so far" of the meteorite, said a spokesman for the administration in the Chelyabinsk region town of Chebarkul, where the lake is located.

The second largest piece of the meteorite was found by a local resident in late August and was estimated to weigh 3.4 kilograms.

A total of five rocks thought to be fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteorite were brought up to the surface of Lake Chebarkul by divers Thursday and handed over to scientists for a thorough examination.

Divers have been working to raise a large chunk of the meteorite thought to weigh several hundred kilograms. They are now working at a depth of 16 meters in the lake, where the biggest section of the meteorite is believed to be buried. It was believed earlier that the meteorite was at a depth of 13 meters.

The meteorite exploded over Russia on Feb. 15, injuring about 1,500 people, mostly from glass shattered by the shockwave. Scientists have said the space rock was a typical chondrite — a stony, non-metallic meteorite.

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