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As a meteorite slams into the atmosphere at speeds around 12 to 20 km/sec or more, it experiences a strong mechanical shock, like a diver bellyflopping into water. This can break apart stones of a certain size range, which explode instead of hitting the ground. Some of them drop brick-sized fragments on the ground, but others, such as the one that hit Siberia, may produce primarily a fireball and cloud of fine dust and tiny fragments. In 1993 researchers Chris Chyba, Paul Thomas, and Kevin Zahnle studied the Siberian explosion and concluded it was of this type -- a stone meteorite that exploded in the atmosphere. This conclusion was supported when Russian researchers found tiny stoney particles embedded in the trees at the collision site, matching the composition of common stone meteorites.