SCIENTISTS GIVE NEW THEORY FOR THE MYSTERIOUS TUNGUSKA EVENT IN 1908
The Tunguska event was a large explosion that occurred near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Yeniseysk Governorate (now Krasnoyarsk Krai), Russia, on the morning of 30 June 1908. The explosion over the sparsely populated Eastern Siberian Taiga flattened an estimated 80 million trees over an area of 2,150 km2 (830 sq mi) of forest. The explosion which had force of 185 Hiroshima bombs, is generally attributed to the air burst of a meteoroid. Soviet expeditions to the remote site near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River highlighted a lack of debris or craters on the surface. No impact crater has been found. Italian scientist Luca Gasperini, from the University of Bologna, claimed shaped Lake Cheko five miles from the epicentre, has filled the crater but his research is strongly disputed by Russian academics.
The object that caused the massive explosion is thought to have disintegrated at an altitude of 3 to 6 miles (5 to 10 km) rather than to have hit the surface of the Earth.
The Siberian Times reports that today scientists give startling theory for 1908 Tunguska Event. “At present, there are over 100 hypotheses about the nature of the Tunguska phenomenon”, says Sergei Karpov leading researcher at Kirensky Physics Institute in Krasnoyarsk . “They include the fall of a small asteroid measuring several dozen metres consisting of typical asteroid materials, either metal or stone, as well as ice.” Karpov and his peers, argue “that the Tunguska event was caused by an iron asteroid body, which passed through the Earth’s atmosphere and continued to the near-solar orbit”.
The study by the Russian academics published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society postulates that the destruction on the ground was “the result of a passing space body and its shock wave, rather than a direct impact”.
• The meteor passed over 3,000 kilometres (1,865 miles) of the planet’s surface at the lowest altitude of 10 to 15 kilometres (6.2 to 9.3 miles), they believe.
• It travelled at a phenomenal 20 kilometres per second speed (12.4 miles per second) before exiting into the outer space shredding about half of its over 3 million tonnes weight on the way.
• Calculations showed that the shock wave could be created by a rapid increase of the space body’s evaporation as it was approaching the Earth’s surface – for a 200-metre (656-feet) meteor that would have been 500,000 tonnes per second.
• High-temperature plasma could create effects typical for explosion such as a shock wave.
The new study showed that it could be caused by the high-intensity light of the space body’s head as it reached over 10,000 degrees Celsius at its lowest altitude in the Earth’s atmosphere. Calculations showed that the meteor flew over the epicentre for about one second – heating the forest to the extent it lit up.
If the Tunguska space object consisted of iron, it could explain why there are no iron droplets at the epicentre: “they simply couldn’t reach the planet’s surface because of the speed of the space body in the atmosphere and its surface temperature exceeding several thousands of degrees Celsius. This version is supported by the fact that there are no remnants of this body and craters on the surface of the Earth. Dr Karpov said the new theory “can explain optical effects associated with a strong dustiness of high layers of the atmosphere over Europe, which caused a bright glow of the night sky.”
The Event caused shockwaves as far away as Britain and dust from the explosion lit up the night sky in its wake in Europe and even America.
(Source and Image: The Siberian Times)
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