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TODAY   |  October 17, 2013

Scientists recover chunk of meteorite from Russian lake

Russian scientists have recovered a giant fragment of the massive meteor that descended last February, sending out shock waves and injuring 1,500 people. The fragment was so large that it broke the scale on which they tried to weigh it. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.

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>>> scientists uncovered a huge piece of a meteorite that landed in russia causing a devastating shock wave. good morning.

>> reporter: hi, natalie, good morning, scientists here in london and around the world are eager to take a look at this piece of media partly because it is so large. even if i put my arms around it like this i wouldn't likely be able to reap all the way around it. this is just one fragment of the original meteor. it struck with the force of a nuclear bomb. streaking across the sky in february, a meteor the size of a house, shattering windows in offices in central russia , buildings damaged, rooves caved in. 1r 600 people injured. the culprit, a giant rock from outer space was found at the bottom of the lake, now hauled, and a metal sheet was used to drag it from 40 feet down, unwrapped, it revealed formed through friction when it pierced the earth's atmosphere. "it's beautiful," "it's gorgeous," says the man behind the operation. it's heavy, they tried to weigh it. it broke the scales. the meteor is expected to be 10,000 tons, it is so large and the first time one so large has been recovered. understanding meteors are crucial. london's natural history museum has been studying them for years.

>> this is one of the first meteorites that was ever studied.

>> reporter: this one slammed into russia without warning. the largest recorded strike in more than a century. we don't know when or where the next meteor might hit.

>> and, natalie the first test will be to insure this really is the meteor from february. it was difficult to get out of that lake. it is no bad thing that's where it landed, natty.

>> that's for sure. thanks so