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Researchers who studied pieces of the meteor collected near Lake Cherbarkul say it was a common chondrite meteor. The largest of the 53 fragments was one centimeter in diameter. Photo provided by the Urals Federal University Press Service.
The meteor that caused at least 1,000 injuries in Russia after a startling and powerful daytime explosion one week ago has been identified as a chondrite. Russian scientists who analyzed fragments of the meteor, whose large size and well-documented impact made it a rarity, say that its composition makes it the most common type of meteor we encounter here on Earth.
“The fragments contain a standard number of minerals, including olivine, pyroxene, troilite and kamacite,” scientist Viktor Grokhovsky of the Urals Federal University, told the Voice of Russia. “These minerals that can be discovered only in outer space confirm the fragments’ extraterrestrial nature.”
That means that before it shattered windows in the city of Chelyabinsk and turned people around the world into gawkers fascinated by a calamity — and by the amazing video footage of it — the meteor spent billions of years traveling through space.
When it detonated over Russia, the explosion was powerful enough to be “detected by 17 nuclear monitoring stations around the globe,” as The Christian Science Monitor reports.
The meteor, which may have weighed as much as 10,000 tons and measured about 55 feet across, was traveling at an estimated 11 miles per second when it reached Earth, according to a report at io9.
“Chondrites are some of the most primitive rocks in the solar system,” says Britain’s Natural History Museum. “These 4.5-billion-year-old meteorites have not changed much from the asteroid they came from.”
The museum says the meteor’s name — pronounced with a hard “K” sound — comes from the Greek word for grains of sand.
But in the region where the meteor fell, the chondrite goes by another title: a chance to cash in. As NPR’s David Greene tells Linda Wertheimer on Morning Edition, people have been scrambling to collect pieces of the famous meteor.
“A 16-year-old pulled one out of his pocket and said, ‘Here’s a piece of the meteor, right here,” David says. “And this black market is developing. People have been coming to these villages and offering $100, $200 for little handfuls of space debris. The government’s worried that people are going to be trying to sell it fraudulently. So, this whole new economic reality is developing around this stuff.”
The New York Times Company announced Wednesday that it is selling the Boston Globe.
Bloomberg was the first to report the news that the company is seeking to unload its biggest asset besides the New York Times itself. The Times issued a press release shortly after, saying that it has partnered with Evercore Partners to find a suitable buyer for the Globe and the other properties in its New England Media Group.
“Given the differences between these businesses and The New York Times, we believe that a sale is in the best long-term interests of these properties and the employees who work for them as well as in the best interests of our shareholders,” Times CEO Mark Thompson said in a statement.
The Times bought the Globe for $1.1 billion in 1993 — a sign of just how different the media landscape was two decades ago. The entire company now has $955 million in cash on hand. It will certainly not be able to attract that kind of price for the paper today; a Wall Street Journal piece in early 2012 speculated that the Globe could be had for about $200 million.
The company has spent the last year or so shedding many of its other business. It sold its regional papers in late 2011, and the About.com site in 2012. In addition, it has recently enacted layoffs at the Times.
The Times had previously flirted with selling the Globe in 2009, but ultimately decided against it. The Globe, the Times said, was on track to lose $85 million that year.
- New York Times Selling The Boston Globe (huffingtonpost.com)
- NY Times Co. hires investment banker to find a buyer for The Boston Globe – Boston.com (boston.com)
- New York Times to sell Boston Globe (bbc.co.uk)
- NY Times To Sell Boston Globe (boston.cbslocal.com)
- The New York Times Confirms Plans to Sell The Boston Globe (observer.com)
- New York Times Prepares To Sell The Boston Globe (deadline.com)
On Thursday, February 14th at 4:50 p.m. EST, President Obama will sit down with Americans from all across the country for a “Fireside Hangout” – our 21st century take on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats. The President will join a live, completely virtual interview from nowhere other than the Roosevelt Room in the White House’s West Wing.
This online event comes just days after the State of the Union address, where the President laid out his plan to create jobs and strengthen the middle class. During the hangout, which is hosted and moderated by Google, the President will connect with people who are active online to discuss the policies and proposals in the speech.
Do you have a question that you’d like President Obama to answer? Right now, you cansubmit a text or video question for the President, and also vote on your favorites. Then, be sure to tune in for the hangout live on Thursday, February 14th at 4:50 p.m. EST. Watch it live on the White House YouTube Channel, Google+ page and at WhiteHouse.gov/live.
Thursday’s event with the President is the latest in a series of Fireside Hangouts and White House engagement programs on Google+. Last month, Vice President Biden kicked off the series with a virtual conversation about reducing gun violence. And after President Obama presented his plan to fix our broken immigration system, Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council, joined a Fireside Hangout on the issue.
The White House uses Google+, and other social media networks and online tools, to directly connect President Obama and his Administration directly with the American people. Since our inaugural White House hangout with President Obama after the State of the Union in January 2012, the White House has hosted hangouts about everything fromhealthy families to small business and mortgage refinancing to human trafficking.
More than 1.4 million people have followed the White House since we joined Google+ a little over a year ago — and we’ve invited those followers to join hangouts with senior staff and Cabinet members and come to the White House for special events, like our State of the Union Social and a Google+ photowalk. Follow us on Google+ to stay connected to the White House and get the latest updates on how you can engage. You can also check out the White House on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Learn more about all the ways you can engage with the White House at WhiteHouse.gov/engage.
- President Obama Holding a Google+ Hangout on thursday (piodalcin.wordpress.com)
- President Obama Participates in Fireside Hangouts on Google+ (whitehouse.gov)