“Green snow” has fallen on a Russian city terrorised by a meteor seven years ago, prompting fears “space dust” has fallen.
Residents of Chelyabinsk captured the unusual sight on social media, with photos and videos showing a significant area of a snow-covered field on the outskirts of the industrial city tinged green.
Locals were frightened by the sight, with some believing it could be a sign from the cosmos that another space threat is heading their way.
On the morning of February 15, 2013, a superbolide (meaning extra bright) meteor travelling 34,000mph
. It generated a huge flash of light followed by a shockwave that shattered glass and damaged buildings around Chelyabinsk.
The explosion generated 20-30 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.
Residents took to social media to speculate about the green snow, with some theorising it could be “space dust” falling from the heavens. Others wondered if the snow had special healing properties. Some joked that the snow was deliberately dyed green in an attempt to cheer citizens up in the middle of a long winter.
After many concerned inquiries from the public about the green snow, local authorities investigated and found the colour was likely the result of dust being blown out of 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 about what caused the dust leak, and will be fined should any safety or ecological violations 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.
Fragments of the meteor were found in and around the city, and a large chunk is displayed at a local museum.
In December that chunk alarmed residents once more when it seemed to move by itself , sparking theories it was trying to escape Earth and return to the universe.