Disintegration of the Chelyabinsk cosmic body
Planetary and Space Science
Available online 5 August 2019
• The results of calculations made it possible to propose an alternative scenario.
• The Chelyabinsk cosmic body could be a combination of a comet and an asteroid.
• The effective heat of destruction for a comet corresponds to (3–5)·105 J·kg-1.”
“A cosmic body entered the Earth’s atmosphere on the morning of February 15, 2013 and disintegrated explosively over the Chelyabinsk region (Russia). This airburst is considered in the framework of a model describing the motion of cosmic bodies in the atmosphere. The results of these calculations have made it possible to propose an alternative scenario of the Chelyabinsk event. The Chelyabinsk object could be a combination of two different merged objects, a larger one (mass of ∼107 kg) with a high water content and low density, resembling a comet, and a smaller one (mass of ∼105 kg) with characteristics of a stony asteroid. It was calculated that the effective heat of destruction (ζ) for a comet with a density of 300–700 kg·m-3 corresponds to (3–5)·105 J·kg-1. Parameter ζ takes into account the fragmentation processes in the comet’s substance.”