Irkutsk scientists are preparing for an expedition to the place of the fall of a large meteorite in the taiga within the basin of the Vitim River, Eastern Siberia. Senior researcher with the solar and earth physics institute at the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences Sergei Yazev says that the expedition will take place in March, before the start of the Siberian spring (late April). It is important for scientists to gather the samples of small dispersion (meteorite) powder expected to remain in the snow because it may be washed away by melted snow water. The scientists intend to employ a helicopter and snow tracked vehicles to look for the exact place of the meteorite's fall within the boundaries of the Botaibinsky and the Mansko-Chuisky districts of the Irkutsk region. According to the scientist, the specialists estimate the weight of the Vitim meteorite at 160 tons upon its entry into the atmosphere while only 60 tons could reach the Earth. This exceeds the size of the Sikhote-Alin bolid (large meteorite), one of the largest in the 20th century. Another summer expedition will be needed to specify these data. Along with Irkutsk scientists, specialists from Moscow will also participate in it.
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