Scientists believe they have discovered fragments of the meteor that plunged spectacularly over Russia's Ural Mountains creating a shockwave that injured 1,200 people and damaged thousands of homes, a Russian news agency reported on Monday.
The space rock streaked over the city of Chelyabinsk in central Russia on Friday and exploded with the force with a force 30 times greater than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
It exploded far above Earth but fragments were widely believed to have scattered over large swathes of the industrial region. Recovery workers scouring a small lake where some fragments were believed to have fallen did not discover anything at first.
But news agency RIA Novosti said progress was made when members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who conducted chemical tests on some unusual rocks on Sunday, concluded that they had come from outer space.
The rock was composed in part of metallic iron as well as chrysolite and sulfite, academy Viktor Grokhovsky said.
The elusive meteorites - meteor fragments that have hit Earth - have generated extreme interest. Russian space debris hunters have posted ads on websites offering as much as 300,000 roubles (HK$77,000) for an authentic piece of Chelyabinsk meteorite.