YEKATERINBURG, February 26 (RIA Novosti) – The authorities in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk are to erect a monument to commemorate the meteorite that hit the Urals region on February 15, wreaking havoc and injuring hundreds of people.
“The meteorite that flew over the Chelyabinsk Region, will be remembered by the residents for a long time. The citizens witnessed a unique global-scale event. That’s why the authorities and proactive citizens were thinking about how to immortalize this interplanetary visit,” the region’s government said in a statement.
The authorities have decided to hold a competition for the best design proposal for the monument and also devise a logo for meteorite souvenirs, including calendars, booklets and magnets.
A panel of judges including a famous artist, sculptor or an architect, will choose the winner, “which will be put up for an online poll,” the regional government said.
The flaming meteorite streaked across the sky and slammed into central Russia on February 15 with a massive boom that blew out windows and damaged thousands of buildings around Chelyabinsk, injuring more than 1,500 people in the area.
US space agency NASA estimates the meteorite was roughly 15 meters (50 feet) in diameter when it struck Earth's atmosphere, travelling several times the speed of sound, and exploded into a fireball brighter than the morning sun.
On Monday, scientists from Russia's Urals Federal University discovered a meteorite fragment weighing more than one kilogram (2.2 lbs), the largest found so far from the meteorite strike.