Russian researcher claims to have found rocks from object that caused Tunguska explosion

May 3, 2013 by Bob Yirka report
Credit: arXiv:1304.8070 [physics.gen-ph]

(Phys.org) —Andrei Zlobin of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Vernadsky State Geological Museum, claims in a paper he's uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, that he's found rocks he believe to be from the object that caused the Tunguska explosion over Siberia in 1908. If further analysis of the rocks confirms them to be from space, it will mark the discovery of the first physical evidence of the source of the famous blast.

The Tunguska Event, as it's known, was a very powerful explosion that occurred in the air over a part of Siberia near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River. The force of it flattened forests for 2,150 square kilometers—it's considered to be the largest in modern history. Despite the immensity of the explosion, no debris from the object that caused it has ever been found—likely due to the remoteness of the impact zone and the political climate in Russia at that time. Even more mysterious is the lack of an . Because of the dearth of evidence, there has been a lot of speculation about what caused the explosion, with the two most likely candidates being a or a comet.

Credit: arXiv:1304.8070 [physics.gen-ph]

In his paper, Zlobin says he dug some holes in the in an area believed to be near the center of the impact zone, back in 1988. He reports that he found nothing that could be tied to the explosion. Before returning home, however, he collected some from the bottom of a shoal on the Khushmo River and brought them back with him to the museum. Zlobin says he didn't sort or examine the rock samples until twenty years later. He doesn't say so, but perhaps it was the hundred year anniversary of the Tunguska Event that spurred him into action—in any case, he found three samples that he believes came from outer-space. He thinks so because they exhibit signs of both melting and ablations known as regmaglypts. Scientists believe the explosion was not hot enough to cause rocks on the ground to melt, thus, the melting of rocks in the area must have come as a result of the intense heat of passage through the Earth's atmosphere.

Zlobin says he believes the impact was caused by a comet, likely of a size close to Halley's Comet. Further testing of the rocks will need to be done to confirm they came from outer-space, of course. If they come back positive, scientists will then have to debate amongst themselves whether they were part of the object that caused the , or were a separate event altogether.

Explore further: Research team claims to have found evidence Lake Cheko is impact crater for Tunguska Event

More information: Discovery of probably Tunguska meteorites at the bottom of Khushmo river's shoal, arXiv:1304.8070 [physics.gen-ph] arxiv.org/abs/1304.8070

Abstract
The author describes some stones which he found at the bottom of Khushmo River's shoal during 1988 expedition into the region of the Tunguska impact (1908). Photos of stones are presented. Three stones have traces of melting and the author consider these stones as probable Tunguska meteorites. Some arguments are presented to confirm author's opinion. Results of investigation of prospect holes in peat-bogs are briefly described too. New data concerning heat impulse of the Tunguska impact are obtained. There is the assumption that some meteorites which are formed during comet impact looks like stony or glass-like thin plates with traces of melting.

Related Stories

Tunguska, 1908: Russia's greatest cosmic mystery

February 15, 2013

The stunning burning-up of a meteor over Russia on Friday that unleashed a shockwave injuring hundreds of people appears to be the country's most dramatic cosmic experience since the historic Tunguska Event of June 1908.

The Tunguska Event--100 Years Later

July 1, 2008

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 ...

Recommended for you

Video: A colorful 'landing' on Pluto

January 20, 2017

What would it be like to actually land on Pluto? This movie was made from more than 100 images taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft over six weeks of approach and close flyby in the summer of 2015. The video offers a trip ...

The evolution of massive galaxy clusters

January 20, 2017

Galaxy clusters have long been recognized as important laboratories for the study of galaxy formation and evolution. The advent of the new generation of millimeter and submillimeter wave survey telescopes, like the South ...

Freeze-dried food and 1 bathroom: 6 simulate Mars in dome

January 20, 2017

Crammed into a dome with one bathroom, six scientists will spend eight months munching on mostly freeze-dried foods—with a rare treat of Spam—and have only their small sleeping quarters to retreat to for solace.

Image: Wavemaker moon Daphnis

January 20, 2017

The wavemaker moon, Daphnis, is featured in this view, taken as NASA's Cassini spacecraft made one of its ring-grazing passes over the outer edges of Saturn's rings on Jan. 16, 2017. This is the closest view of the small ...

Astronomers search for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet

January 19, 2017

Is there anybody out there? The question of whether Earthlings are alone in the universe has puzzled everyone from biologists and physicists to philosophers and filmmakers. It's also the driving force behind San Francisco ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

MrGrynch
1 / 5 (3) May 03, 2013
Reports from witnesses at the time reported "crackling" noises and a feeling like static electricity prior, as well as spontaneous fires prior to the blast also. The electric universe camp may have a better answer as to what happened

General concept
http://www.thunde...alaxies/

Specific stories
http://www.thunde...uska.htm
http://www.thunde...ska2.htm
http://www.thunde...ater.htm
QuixoteJ
3 / 5 (2) May 03, 2013
If theses rocks can be confirmed, that would be really cool. I've always marvelled at the Tunguska Event. When reading about it, I noticed that many near the area reported a series of "artillery fire" sounds. I always wondered about that or if they were remembering correctly, until I heard recordings of the recent Chelyabinsk meteor event... after the main blast there was a succession of sounds like that of artillery fire...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.