By the end of May, the vegetation in the search area had grown knee-high. Meteorites on the ground were extremely hard to spot by then. At the beginning of June, both the number of teams involved in the search and the rate of finds had considerably decreased. It is to hope that with the increasing agricultural activity more finds, including larger specimens are made.
Spring in Deputatsky: By the end of April, most of the the snow was gone, and all roads submerged in fathomless mire
The same spot three weeks later. Those meteorites missed in the early search are now hidden under a cover of fast-growing grass
Final classification and publication
On March 15, one month after it’s fall the final classification of the Chelyabinsk meteorite was officially published in the data base of the Meteoritical Bulletin. The petrologic analysis conducted by D.D. Badyukov and M.A. Nazarov at the Vernadsky Institute resulted in a classification as ordinary chondrite (LL5), with a shock stage of S4 and a weathering degree of zero (W0). Their write-up in the Meteoritical Bulletin notes the petrographic traces of shock in the shape of planar deformation features and melt veins:
“The majority (2/3) of the stones are composed of a light-colored lithology with a typical chondritic texture. Chondrules (~63%) are readily delineated and set within a fragmental matrix. The mean chondrule diameter is 0.93 mm. The chondrule glass is devitrified. The main phases are olivine and orthopyroxene. Olivine shows mosaicism and planar fractures. Rare grains of augite and clinobronzite are present. Small and rare feldspar grains show undulutory extinction, planar deformation features, and are partly isotropic. Troilite (4 vol.%) and FeNi metal (1.3 vol.%) occur as irregularly shaped grains. Accessory minerals are chromite, ilmenite, and Cl-apatite. A significant portion (1/3) of the stones consist of a dark, fine-grained impact melt containing mineral and chondrule fragments. Feldspar is well developed and practically isotropic. No high-pressure phases were found in the impact melt. There are black-colored thin shock veins in both light and dark lithologies.” (Meteoritical Bulletin, no. 102, MAPS 48, in preparation (2014)