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Russian Meteorite: Fragments Of Shattered Space Rock Fetch Thousands, But Fakes Flood Internet

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Fragments of the meteorite which struck the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on Friday has been found - but fakes are already popping up online.

The rock may have injured hundreds and left a 50-foot crater in a frozen lake, but that hasn't stopped locals from hunting the small pieces of 'space dust' in droves, according to reports.

Small pieces of the meteorite have fetched as much as £6,500 on Russian websites, reported to the Daily Mail.

More than 50 pieces have been brought to a laboratory in Yekaterinburg, while international collectors are said to be snapping up the rest.

But experts have already warned that there may be many fakes among the real artefacts.

READ MORE: UN Holds Summit On Deadly Asteroids

The Guardian spoke to Dr Natalie Starkey, a cosmochemist at the Open University and an expert in meteorites, who said anyone presented with a supposed fragment should look for a 'fusion crust' that looks shiny and smooth on the outside.

Meanwhile the British and Irish Meteorite Society has also issued a warning about fakes.

On its website it writes:

"You are highly advised to take the above precautions when buying on eBay, do your homework and buy from reputable dealers. Meteorite-Identification.com is a good source of information on suspect Ebay auctions. Meteorite Exchange has a page here which summarises eBay listings from known meteorite dealers."

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