Russian meteor compared to Greene Co. asteroid event - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Russian meteor compared to Greene Co. asteroid event

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PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - It was a scene out of a popular doomsday movie for millions of Russians early Friday morning.

A meteor, estimated up to 10 tons, slammed into a lake 900 miles east of Moscow injuring nearly 1,000 people.

Such meteors are highly unpredictable, so many people find them fascinating and terrifying.

In fact, Greene County had a close encounter with an asteroid nearly a century ago.

Three pieces struck southwest of Finch shortly before sunrise on February 17, 1930.

One chunk of meteorite weighed 800 pounds and was seen as far away as Illinois and Kansas.

Greene County museum coordinator Bettye Busby says the fireball left an 9-foot crater in the farmland.

"It broke off, it was two pieces. The first piece they found was 800-something pounds. They didn't, later, the smaller one was found."

Region 8 residents awoke to explosions and an eerie bright, shimmering light.

"The noise was heard from a long distance, you know. The light, the light was just pretty extreme. Probably a lot of people thought this was the end of the world or something."

Busby says the rock was mostly made up of iron and other metals.

The Paragould Meteorite attracted nationwide attention and was purchased for three-thousand, six hundred dollars by a Kansas man shortly after its discovery.

"It was eventually purchased by the University of Chicago and now it's at the University of Arkansas library."

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