Something happened in the summer of 1908. A fireball appeared over northern Siberia. It was described how a blue pillar of light moved in the sky, followed by a capital explosion. He cut down trees over 2,000 square kilometers. The explosion is in line with a large meteor impact. To date, however, no evidence of a crater has been found. This exacerbated the secret of the Tunguska event.
The culprit is still at large
A new theory emerges. A new investigation is said to be able to explain the lack of remains of the asteroid. He says that the space rock responsible for the deflagration actually bounced off the atmosphere. Like a ball. The sun is still supposed to orbit today.
For a long time they tried to explain the secret of the Tunguska event. It was viewed as a massive natural gas leak. Some even believed it was an alien spacecraft explosion.
Given what we know, the most likely cause is a blast. The asteroid must have exploded in the atmosphere, like the Chelyabinsk meteorite in 2013. Given the size of the impact area, the original asteroid was estimated to be almost 70 meters. This would explain why no large impact crater was found.
The Tunguska region is sparsely populated and the event had only a handful of witnesses. Scientific investigations of the event only took place in the 1920s. At this point, the impact area was mapped and the first search for an impact crater was performed. In the 1960s, it was clear that the event resembled an exploding nuclear explosion with an energy of approximately 5 megatons.
Will it happen again?
It is known that meteors glide through our atmosphere. The most famous event was the Great Daylight Fireball from 1972. It was a truck-sized stone that jumped through the upper atmosphere. The meteorite was seen in parts of Utah and Wyoming. The new study team, headed by Daniil E. Kherennikov from the Federal University of Siberia, examined whether a similar influence could have caused the explosion of Tunguska. They publish the results in monthly reports from the Royal Astronomical Society.
To find this out, they modeled different scenarios, reports Universe Today. They looked at bodies with a size of 50 to 200 meters, which consist of ice, stone or iron. They discovered that the most likely scenario is an approximately 200 meter iron asteroid. They analyzed what would happen if the object had a surface influence on the atmosphere. It would have remained practically intact less than 10 kilometers from the earth's surface. It could have returned to space to enter an almost solar orbit. It could orbit the sun to this day. A quick compression of the air near the asteroid would be enough to create the observed explosion area. Another question arises: Will it happen again?