The Tunguska Event--100 Years Later

Jul 01, 2008
The Tunguska Event--100 Years Later
Trees felled by the Tunguska explosion. Credit: the Leonid Kulik Expedition.

The year is 1908, and it's just after seven in the morning. A man is sitting on the front porch of a trading post at Vanavara in Siberia. Little does he know, in a few moments, he will be hurled from his chair and the heat will be so intense he will feel as though his shirt is on fire.

That's how the Tunguska event felt 40 miles from ground zero.

Today, June 30, 2008, is the 100th anniversary of that ferocious impact near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in remote Siberia--and after 100 years, scientists are still talking about it.

"If you want to start a conversation with anyone in the asteroid business all you have to say is Tunguska," says Don Yeomans, manager of the Near-Earth Object Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "It is the only entry of a large meteoroid we have in the modern era with first-hand accounts."

While the impact occurred in '08, the first scientific expedition to the area would have to wait for 19 years. In 1921, Leonid Kulik, the chief curator for the meteorite collection of the St. Petersburg museum led an expedition to Tunguska. But the harsh conditions of the Siberian outback thwarted his team's attempt to reach the area of the blast. In 1927, a new expedition, again lead by Kulik, reached its goal.

"At first, the locals were reluctant to tell Kulik about the event," said Yeomans. "They believed the blast was a visitation by the god Ogdy, who had cursed the area by smashing trees and killing animals."

While testimonials may have at first been difficult to obtain, there was plenty of evidence lying around. Eight hundred square miles of remote forest had been ripped asunder. Eighty million trees were on their sides, lying in a radial pattern.

"Those trees acted as markers, pointing directly away from the blast's epicenter," said Yeomans. "Later, when the team arrived at ground zero, they found the trees there standing upright – but their limbs and bark had been stripped away. They looked like a forest of telephone poles."

Such debranching requires fast moving shock waves that break off a tree's branches before the branches can transfer the impact momentum to the tree's stem. Thirty seven years after the Tunguska blast, branchless trees would be found at the site of another massive explosion – Hiroshima, Japan.

Kulik's expeditions (he traveled to Tunguska on three separate occasions) did finally get some of the locals to talk. One was the man based at the Vanara trading post who witnessed the heat blast as he was launched from his chair. His account:

Suddenly in the north sky… the sky was split in two, and high above the forest the whole northern part of the sky appeared covered with fire… At that moment there was a bang in the sky and a mighty crash… The crash was followed by a noise like stones falling from the sky, or of guns firing. The earth trembled.

The massive explosion packed a wallop. The resulting seismic shockwave registered with sensitive barometers as far away as England. Dense clouds formed over the region at high altitudes which reflected sunlight from beyond the horizon. Night skies glowed, and reports came in that people who lived as far away as Asia could read newspapers outdoors as late as midnight. Locally, hundreds of reindeer, the livelihood of local herders, were killed, but there was no direct evidence that any person perished in the blast.

"A century later some still debate the cause and come up with different scenarios that could have caused the explosion," said Yeomans. "But the generally agreed upon theory is that on the morning of June 30, 1908, a large space rock, about 120 feet across, entered the atmosphere of Siberia and then detonated in the sky."

It is estimated the asteroid entered Earth's atmosphere traveling at a speed of about 33,500 miles per hour. During its quick plunge, the 220-million-pound space rock heated the air surrounding it to 44,500 degrees Fahrenheit. At 7:17 a.m. (local Siberia time), at a height of about 28,000 feet, the combination of pressure and heat caused the asteroid to fragment and annihilate itself, producing a fireball and releasing energy equivalent to about 185 Hiroshima bombs.

"That is why there is no impact crater," said Yeomans. "The great majority of the asteroid is consumed in the explosion."

Yeomans and his colleagues at JPL's Near-Earth Object Office are tasked with plotting the orbits of present-day comets and asteroids that cross Earth's path, and could be potentially hazardous to our planet. Yeomans estimates that, on average, a Tunguska-sized asteroid will enter Earth's atmosphere once every 300 years.

"From a scientific point of view, I think about Tunguska all the time," he admits. Putting it all in perspective, however, "the thought of another Tunguska does not keep me up at night."

Source: by Dr. Tony Phillips, Science@NASA

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Kairos
1 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2008
Generally speaking, unless that particular bit of celestial matter were highly radioactive (and able to interact with the ionospheric charge this way), it would not be a charged object... for one, there is no 'static buildup' in the ethereal vacuum of space. For two, if this were the case, we would witness aurora borealis-type effects every year during annual meteor showers. The "Electric Universe" is entirely real, but it requires objects which spin their own electrodynamic magnetic fields (hence an iron core, some liquid crystal, or otherwise). Mars is even known to exhibit vast dust/lightning storms whenever it comes close to Earth (or any other body): [http://news.bbc.c...4700.stm]

I love how they call it a "southern summer." Astronomers have known for quite some time now the interplanetary effects of geodynamic exchange. And it was cloudy here - I wonder.

I digress. Partly, in agreement with your 'cosmology.' But the event was no space rock, and no UFO.

"I was sitting on the porch of the house at the trading station at Vanovara at breakfast time and looking toward the North... when suddenly, the sky was split in two, and high above the forest, the whole Northern part of the sky appeared to be covered with fire...the crash was followed with a sound like stones falling from the sky or guns firing...a hot wind blew past the huts from the North..." - {one account from many, in Carl Sagan's "Cosmos"}

FUNNY THING ABOUT THAT IS THAT NO IMPACT SITES FOR DEBRIS WERE EVER FOUND. Those weren't 'rocks;' they were "thunder" from ionospheric disruption, the same way the sky split in two and breathed fire everywhere.
Kairos
1 / 5 (2) Jul 03, 2008
OK, everybody. It was the Wardenclyffe Tower. (Tesla autobiography material shared info about a fully-tested [and to Tesla's 'satisfaction'], "catastrophic electromagnetic device of global power," which was 'directed toward the North Pole,' and got misdirected by miscalculation to Tunguska... his friend, on an Arctic expedition, found nothing upon Tesla's request for recon. He found the 'strike zone' years later when in Tunguska, and reported it to Tesla.)

Tesla devised the "Wireless Transmission of Power" (patent) device upon Marconi's Long Island property, which Marconi later 'stole' from Tesla after the inventor could not pay up his bills (this is all bibliography fact). It was used one last time before Tesla retreated, from police, and he burned out the electrical components with one final run in 1908. The transmitting tower was disassembled and reverse engineered; then, Marconi became GE company, then BAE Systems, which together with Bernard Eastlund and the US Air Force created and finished the HAARP "ionospheric heater" in Gakona, Alaska (death ray of Tesla's patent design), by 2005. Nearly 100 years later.

Now, however, it is *multiplied by 180 towers* instead of a measly uno. And *gigawatts*, to boot, which the atmosphere easily transforms into powers well beyond 1000-fold the input, ***via plasma excitation/amplification similar to provoking lightning.***

Hmm. No blast zone. Much like "giant lightning." No radiation. A 'split sky' with heated wind from the North (not "above," where it would have exploded from IF it WERE space matter)... yeah.
Kairos
1 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2008
one of those HAARP patents outlines the ability to create thermonuclear detonation, remotely via the electrojet - magnetic field - pathway, with no fallout whatsoever (electromagnetic excitation). Sound familiar, anyone? This hadron collider is such a big deal in the media, but perhaps only because most folks have NO idea what the international military (yup) has ALREADY been up to for years now...