Meteor cover mysteriously levitates in Russian museum

A glass lid at a Russian museum mysteriously rose above the famous meteor that in 2013 exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk this weekend.

The 500-kilogram fragment, which was fished out of a lake several months after it crashed to earth, is on display at the city’s museum of South Ural history. The meteor caused window-shattering shockwaves and injured several hundred people when it fell.Surveillance footage shows the meteor’s glass lid spontaneously rising by a few centimeters and floating over the meteor as some museum goers and security staff watch in bemusement.

The dome then rises again before returning to its original position, the sped-up video published by the Baza social media news channel Tuesday shows. Visitors barely noticed the lid’s mysterious elevation when it happened Saturday because it happened so slowly, the museum’s director told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

“It could have been a technical malfunction. Our equipment lifts the dome, so it was somehow involved in this,” museum director Vladimir Bogdanovsky told the agency.

Bogdanovsky ruled out foul play because the only remote control that raises and lowers the glass dome was locked inside a box under video surveillance. “We have no explanation as to who gave the command and how it happened,” he said. “The fact remains, but we can’t explain it yet,” RIA Novosti quoted Bogdanovsky as saying.

The piece lay pride of place in Chelyabinsk’s state historical museum, and was a key draw to visitors who wanted to find out about the meteorite that strained retinas and dazzled the sky above the city nestled near the Ural Mountains in February 2013.

The size of a six-story building, the entire meteorite was the largest natural object to breach the Earth’s atmosphere for more than a century, and it injured more than 1,200 people, mostly from shattered glass caused by the shock wave it generated, according to Space.com. However, he did emphasize that “we don’t believe in mysticism,” suggesting that the incident was simply down to a “technical failure.”

Equally prosaic was the explanation given by the region’s minister of culture, Alexey Betekhtin, who said, “I think it’s probably a technical failure, from which no one is immune.”

He said that the alarm system around the exhibit worked correctly but the museum needed to carry out a “system check to reveal why it happened and make sure such a surprise does not happen again,” according to the local publication Vecherny Chelyabinsk.

Source: Moscow Times