Tunguska meteorite

For more than a century everyone has been attracted to the Tunguska meteorite, which fell in Siberia in the summer of 1908. Then, in the area of the Podkamennaya Tunguska River, a giant column of flame flared up, visible from a distance of 450 km, cloud. The catastrophe was accompanied by deafening explosions, which were heard within a radius of 100 km.

For more than a century everyone has been attracted to the Tunguska meteorite, which fell in Siberia in the summer of 1908

The first expedition to the site of the fall of the Tunguska meteorite was organized only in 1927. In 1928-1930, two additional expeditions were carried out. Then the next Tungus expedition took place only in 1958.

Even during the initial studies of the area of the fall of the Tunguska meteorite, a number of mysterious circumstances were discovered. There were not found any funnels, which are usually formed when an impact on the Earth of cosmic bodies, and not a single fragment. The forest was fallen in a huge space of tens of kilometers, with the direction of the tree trunks lying on the ground clearly indicating the direction to the center of the explosion of the Tunguska meteorite. But it was in the center, where, it would seem, the destruction should be greatest, the trees stood on the vine. And only their tops, and almost all branches were broken off in such a way that the impression was created that an air wave hit them from above...

There was an assumption that the Tunguska meteorite exploded in the air, at a considerable height above the Earth's surface. Apparently, this explosion was of a point character, i.e., it occurred instantly, for hundredths of a second - otherwise there would not have been such a correct radial fall of the forest. In this connection, a number of hypotheses about the nature of the mysterious Tunguska meteorite appeared.

So it was stated that the Tunguska meteorite was a small piece of antimatter, billions of years rushed in outer space, and then collided with our planet. As is known, the contact of matter and antimatter leads to their annihilation - matter and antimatter completely turn into electromagnetic radiation, and at the same time an enormous amount of energy is released. In this way, the authors of the new hypothesis attempted to explain the destructive phenomena that accompanied the fall of the Tunguska meteorite. True, the assumption of an "anti-nature" of the Tunguska meteorite has not gained much popularity. In particular, it was difficult to explain how the "fragment" of antimatter could have been preserved for a long time, moving in outer space. After all, he would have to constantly face numerous particles of the interstellar and interplanetary medium, which would inevitably very quickly lead to its annihilation.

In recent years, another attempt has been made to link the Tunguska meteorite with new physical ideas. This time the "starting point" was the hypothesis "black holes", intensively developed by physicists and astrophysicists. American physicists from the University of Texas A. Jackson and M. Rian suggested that the Tunguska meteorite was actually... a small black hole that burst into the earth's atmosphere with great speed. However, more accurate calculations carried out by physicists in different countries showed that the nature of the phenomena that should have been observed in the collision of the Earth with a black hole is completely inconsistent with what really happened when the Tungus meteorite fell.

At the same time, quite serious scientific research was carried out on the explosion of the Tunguska meteorite. Experiments were conducted to simulate the explosion. Analysis of the results showed that the Tunguska meteorite moved at a speed of 30-50 km/s, and the explosion caused by it occurred at an altitude of 5 to 15 km. This force was equivalent to an explosion of 20-40 megatons of TNT. As for the damage that occurred in the area of the fall, all of them, apparently, were caused by shock waves - a wave that came from above the explosion site and a wave reflected from the earth's surface.

An interesting hypothesis was put forward by the astronomer V.G. Fesenkov. According to the scientist's assumption, in the summer of 1908 our Earth collided with the ice core of a small comet. As calculations by K.P. Stanyukovich showed, low-melting cometary ice, after entering the terrestrial atmosphere with supersonic velocity, initially evaporated relatively slowly. But then (this was to happen in the lower dense layers of air), when the entire mass of ice was sufficiently warmed up, it instantly had to turn into a gas clot and evaporate. There was a powerful explosion. But, near the Sun at that time no comets were recorded.

At the same time, it should be recognized that there is no unified opinion on the nature of the Tunguska meteorite, and so far the 1908 catastrophe in the area of the Podkamennaya Tunguska River remains largely unclear.