Green snow fell on a Russian city that was terrorized by a meteor seven years ago, raising fears that it was “space dust.”
Chelyabinsk residents posted the unusual sight on social networks, with photos and videos showing a significant area of a snow-covered field on the outskirts of the green-tinted industrial city.
Locals were startled by the sight, with some believing it could be a sign from the cosmos that another space threat was approaching.
On the morning of February 15, 2013, a superbolide (meaning extra bright) meteor traveling 34,000 mph. exploded over the city. It generated a huge flash, followed by a shockwave that shattered windows and damaged buildings around Chelyabinsk.
The blast generated 20 to 30 times more energy than the Hiroshima nuclear bomb. More than 1,000 people reported injuries, mostly from broken glass, and one woman broke her spine.
Now locals have gone to social networks to speculate on green snow, with some who theorize it could be ‘space dust’ falling from the sky. Others wondered if snow had special healing properties. Some joked that the snow was deliberately tinted green in an attempt to cheer the citizens through the long winter.
After much public concern about the green snow, local authorities investigated and found that the color was probably the result of dust being blown from a nearby granite quarry.
Officials don’t believe the snow poses a health risk. However Chelyabinsk authorities have said they will take a reading of the local air quality to make sure.
The quarry is also being investigated as to what caused the dust leak and will be fined if safety or ecological breaches are discovered.
Chelyabinsk, which is home to more than 1.1 million people, has come to celebrate the meteor explosion that made hundreds of people need counselling.
Meteor fragments have been found in and around the city, and a large chunk is displayed at a local museum.
In December, this piece scared the locals once again when it seemed to try to lift its protective dome, provoking theories that it was trying to escape Earth and return to the universe.