June 30, 1908 at about 7 a.m. in the Earth's atmosphere from the South-East to North-West flew a large fireball that exploded in the Siberian taiga, in the area of the river Podkamennaya Tunguska.
The place of the Tunguska meteorite on the map of Russia
Dazzling bright Orb was visible in Central Siberia in the range of 600 kilometers, and can be heard in a radius of 1000 kilometers. The power of the explosion was later estimated at 10 to 50 megatons, which corresponds to the energy of the two thousand atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, or the energy of the most powerful hydrogen bomb. The air wave was so strong that down the trees in a radius of 40 kilometers. The total area felled forests amounted to approximately 2,200 square kilometers. But because of the flow of hot gases in the explosion caused a fire, which completed the devastation of the surrounding area and for many years turned them into cemetery taiga.
Leavel in the area of the Tunguska meteorite
The air wave, generated an unprecedented explosion, two times around the globe. It was recorded in the seismographic laboratories in Copenhagen, Zagreb, Washington, Potsdam, London, Jakarta and in other cities.After a few minutes after the explosion began a magnetic storm. It lasted about four hours.
"... suddenly on North sky split, and it is wide and high above the forest came the fire that swept through the Northern part of the sky. At this point I was so hot, as if I was on fire shirt. I wanted to tear up and throw off the shirt, but the sky was shut, and he heard a heavy blow. I was thrown from the porch of three fathoms. After hitting the go such a knock, as if the sky fell stones or fired from guns, the earth trembled, and when I was lying on the ground, then laid his head, fearing that the stones kicked in the head. At the moment when the heavens opened up, from the North swept the hot wind, as from a gun that was left on earth traces in the form of tracks. Then it turned out that many of the glass Windows shattered, and the barn broke the iron tabs to lock the door."
Semyon Semyonov, a resident of Vanavara trading post, 70 km from the epicenter ("Knowledge is power", 2003, No. 60)
"The 17th of June in the morning, at the beginning of the 9th hour, we observed some unusual natural phenomenon. In the village of N.-Karolinska (200 miles from Kirensk to the North) peasants saw in the North-West, quite high above the horizon, some very much (it was impossible to watch) luminous white, bluish light body, moving within 10 minutes from the top down. The body was represented in the form of a "pipe"that is cylindrical. The sky was cloudless, only just above the horizon, in the same direction in which it was observed luminous body was noticeably small dark cloud. It was hot, and dry. Close to the ground (forest), a brilliant body seems to be broke at the same place it has formed a huge club black smoke and heard a very strong knock (not thunder), as if from large falling rocks or the gun firing. All the buildings were shaking. At the same time, the clouds began to escape the flames indefinite form.
All the villagers panic came running into the streets, the women were crying, everyone thought that the end of the world".
C. gruel, newspaper Sibir, 29 (15) July 1908
In the vast area from the Yenisei river to the Atlantic coast of Europe turned by the unprecedented unusual light phenomena known in history under the name of "bright nights summer of 1908". Clouds formed at an altitude of about 80 km, intensively reflected the sun's rays, thereby creating the effect of bright nights, even where they have never before been seen. Throughout this vast territory on the evening of June 30, virtually no night came: the whole sky lit up, so you at midnight to read a newspaper without artificial lighting. This phenomenon continued until July 4. Interestingly, similar atmospheric anomalies began in 1908, long before the Tunguska explosion: an unusual glow, flashes of light and color lightning observed over North America and the Atlantic, over Europe and Russia still 3 months before the Tunguska explosion.
Later in the epicenter of the explosion started strong growth trees that suggest a genetic mutation. Such anomalies are never observed in areas falling meteorites, but very similar to those that caused the hard ionizing radiation or strong electromagnetic fields.
Slice larch from the area of the Tunguska body, cut in 1958
Annual layer 1908 looks dark. Well seen accelerated growth
larch after 1908, when the tree has experienced radiant burn.
Scientific studies of this phenomenon began in the 20-ies of the last century. The place of fall of the heavenly bodies investigated 4 expeditions organized by the USSR Academy of Sciences and headed by Leonid A. Kulik (1927) and Kirill p. Florensky (after the great Patriotic war). The only thing that managed to find the small silicate and magnetite balls, which, as scientists believe, are the product of the destruction of the Tunguska alien. Typical meteor crater researchers did not find, though later during the long years of searching for the fragments of the Tunguska meteorite members of the various expeditions in total, found on the territory of disaster 12 wide holes conical shape. How deep they go, nobody knows, because nobody even tried to learn. It was found that around the site of the Tunguska meteorite forest knocked fan out from the centre, and in the center part of the trees left standing on their roots, but without branches and bark. "It was like a forest of telephone poles."
Subsequent expeditions have noticed that the area felled forest has the shape of a butterfly. Computer modeling of the shape of this area with regard to all the circumstances of the fall showed that the explosion did not occur at the collision of the body with the earth's surface, and even before that, in air, at an altitude of 5-10 km, and the weight space alien estimated at 5 million tons.
The scheme fall forest around the epicenter of the Tunguska explosion
"butterfly" with the axis of symmetry AB, accept
for the main direction of the trajectory of the Tunguska meteorite.
Since then it has been more than 100 years, but the mystery of the Tunguska phenomenon still remains unsolved.
Iron and silicate beads,
found in the area of the fall
The Tunguska meteorite
Hypotheses about the nature of the Tunguska stranger continue to put forward so far. In 2009, NASA experts have suggested that this was indeed a giant meteorite, but not a stone, and ice. This hypothesis explains the absence of traces of a meteorite on Earth and the appearance of noctilucent clouds observed the day after the fall of the Tunguska meteorite. According to this hypothesis, they appeared in the passage of the meteorite through the dense layers of the atmosphere: when this started, the allocation of water molecules and small particles of ice, which led to the formation in the upper atmosphere of noctilucent clouds.
It should be noted that the Americans were not the first who put forward a hypothesis about the icy nature of the Tunguska meteorite: Soviet physics made this assumption more than a quarter century ago. However, to check the plausibility of this hypothesis has only been possible with the advent of specialized equipment, such as satellite AIM - he conducted studies of noctilucent clouds in 2007.
So the stony Tunguska looks from the air in our days
The Tunguska catastrophe is among the most well studied, but the most mysterious phenomena of the twentieth century. Dozens of expeditions, hundreds of scientific articles, thousands of researchers were only able to increase knowledge about it, but was never able to clearly answer a simple question: what was it?