Debris From Russian Meteor Explosion Wrapped the Globe, Lasted for Months

August 16, 2013 11:43 AM

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Debris From Russian Meteor Explosion Wrapped the Globe, Lasted for Months

When a meteor weighing some 11,000 metric tons exploded over Russia earlier this year, much of the remaining debris fell to the ground -- but not all. Ultimately, some 100 tons of dust from the meteor, or bolide, became locked in the atmosphere, offering NASA officials an unprecedented opportunity to observe as this material went on to create a thin but cohesive dust belt in the stratosphere.

"We wanted to know if our satellite could detect the meteor dust," said atmospheric scientist Nick Gorkavyi of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Indeed, we saw the formation of a new dust belt in Earth's stratosphere, and achieved the first space-based observation of the long-ter...

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