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Expert assesses meteor smash.

A LARGE meteor thought to have smashed into a remote Russian forest indicated a ``rather significant impact event,'' a Liverpool asteroid expert said last night.

Residents in the town of Bodaibo, in the Irkutsk region of Siberia, saw a large luminous body looking like a ``huge stone'' fall from the sky on Thursday, according to Russian newspaper Pravda.

Dr Benny Peiser, of John Moores University, said: ``If the eye-witness accounts are confirmed, this fact of an earth tremor together with thunder-like explosive sounds would indicate a rather significant impact event.''

He said the incident occurred on the same day the US House of Representatives debated the need to search for smaller asteroids and the danger of mistaking impacts for nuclear attacks.

The town's residents told of flashes of bright light which could be seen above the impact site, a long way from any settlements.

At least 30 times a year, asteroids smash into the Easth's atmosphere and explode with the force of a nuclear bomb.

These smaller asteroids, between 200 and 500 metres wide, could potentially demolish a city with a direct hit.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 5, 2002
Words:183
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