Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Tunguska Explosion

Tunguska Explosion – A Mysterious Explosion

A mysterious explosion had taken place on June 30, 1908, several miles in the air over a piece of land known as Middle of Nowhere in Siberia. According to eyewitnesses it had been reported that the skies had lit up like the Fourth of July and thereafter this awesome event of the Tunguska explosion had raised countless queries in the mind of people with thousands of hypotheses offered with regards to this phenomenon. The culprits of suspects ranged from natural gas to a natural H-bomb explosion, meteorites, antimatter, black holes, aliens and Nikola Tesla.

The event was the cause of destruction of over 2000 km2 of taiga, globally known pressure as well as seismic waves and bright luminescence in the night skies of Central Asia and Europe together with other unusual phenomena. This event could be related to the impact of a cosmic body with the Earth which exploded about five to ten km above the ground resulting in the release of 10 – 15 Mton of energy in the atmosphere. However the fragments of the impact have not been found. Several of them have been debating on whether its nature, a comet or asteroid could be the cause.

Cause – Incoming Meteor/Comet

According to others, the event which was widely known as the Tunguska event was believed to be the cause of incoming meteor or a comet which had not struck the Earth but had exploded in the air resulting in what was known as an air burst, some three to six miles above the surface of the Earth.

The outcome of the explosion resulted in the release of enough energy which killed reindeer as well as flatten trees for several kilometers surrounding the blast site though no crater was ever found. At that point of time it was difficult to visit the remote area of Siberia and it was only in 1927 that the first Soviet research expedition to investigate the Tunguska event led by Leonid Kulik was undertaken.

An initial trip to the region was taken and the local witness were interviewed and the regions were explored in the areas where the trees had been felled and he was convinced that they were all turned from their roots to the centre. He also investigated for any meteorite fragments and meteorite crater though did not find any.

Various Explanations – On Explosion 

Over a period of time, scientists and many others devised various explanations regarding the Tunguska explosion some of which were wild, like the encounter of Earth with an alien space craft, or a particle of antimatter, or a mini-black hole.

It is likely that a small icy comet or stony asteroid could have collided with the Earth’s atmosphere on that fateful day in June and if it was an asteroid, it could have been around a third as big as a football field which moved at 15 km per second.

Since the incident had taken place a long time ago, we could never get to know in all certainty if it was an asteroid or a comet though in recent decades, astronomers have been speculating on the possibility of an asteroid or a comet impact and are observing regular programs to watch for Near Earth Object as they are know, meeting often to discuss on what could have happened if an object was found on a collision course with the Earth.

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