CCTV footage of the meteorite at the museum last Saturday saw the protective dome over the rock float over the exhibit. The fragment of meteor was originally from a rock the size of a six story building, and was the largest natural object to breach the Earth’s atmosphere for more than a century. Its entry in 2013 injured more than 1,200 people at the time, mostly from the shockwave it created upon arrival.
Museum spokesman Yuri Bogatenkov told Russian media that security ran to the site immediately, but the dome had covered the meteorite again by the time they arrived.
“There is no explanation for what happened, the reason is unclear, as we know for sure that there were no technical problems,” he said, according to state-run agency RIA.
Meanwhile, public relations head of the museum Aivar Valeev pjokingly accused the presence of another meteorite, he called the Chelyabinsk’s “twin” which had just flown close to the Earth.
“We joked that the brother of the Chelyabinsk meteorite said ‘hi’ to our space rock and ours was simply exhaling in response,” he said, according to Gazeta.ru.
CCTV footage caught the moment last week (Image: GETTY)
The occurrence remains unexplained (Image: TWITTER @siberian_times)
However, he did make clear that “we don’t believe in mysticism,” and that the simplest explanation was the most likely, simply a “technical failure.”.
The opinion was echoed by the region’s minister of culture, Alexey Betekhtin, who said: “I think it’s probably a technical failure, from which no one is a immune.”
He said the museum needed to carry out a “system check to reveal why it happened and make sure such a surprise does not happen again.”
The mysterious meteor event comes as an asteroid three times as tall as the Great Pyramid of Giza just shot past Earth at breakneck speed.
They jokingly blamed the close passage of another meteorite (Image: GETTY)
NASA’s asteroid-tracking astronomers found the rock flying past the Earth on a “close approach” trajectory this month.
The giant asteroid is estimated to measure up to 1,443ft (440m) across, making it three times taller than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.
It hurtled through space at approximately 63,081mph (101,520km/h), rocketing past earth last Thursday.
The asteroid’s close approach was tracked by NASA’s Centre for Near Earth Object Studies or CNEOS.
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The meteor was on a “close approach” trajectory (Image: GETTY)
The space rock was said to be three times the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza (Image: GETTY)
NASA’s trackers have dubbed the asteroid 2019 XO3 after its discovery this year.
According to NASA, potentially hazardous asteroids can get “unusually close” to our home planet.
By studying them in great detail, the US space agency could one day protect Earth from a devastating impact.
NASA said: “Potentially hazardous asteroids are about 150 meters – almost 550ft – or larger, roughly twice as big as the Statue of Liberty is tall.
“They approach Earth’s orbit to within 7.5 million kilometres – about 4.6 million miles.
“By comparison, when Mars and Earth are at their closest, they are about 53 million kilometres – about 33 million miles – apart.”
NASA said potentially hazardous asteroids are roughly twice as big as the Statue of Liberty (Image: GETTY)
At its closest, the space rock approached Earth from a distance of about 0.04320 astronomical units.
One astronomical unit measures about 93 million miles (149.6 million km) or the distance from Earth to the Sun.
Asteroid XO3 cut this down to just 4.01 million miles (6.4 million km).