The Tunguska explosion

The Tunguska explosion

Fig. 13.7 . On 30 June 1908, a giant blue-white ball of fire streaked across the daytime sky above the Tunguska River in Siberia, apparently becoming brighter than the Sun. The Tunguska fireball then exploded in the atmosphere, felling underlying trees like matchsticks. All of the toppled trees point away from a central location that must have been directly below the point of the explosion. Interpreting the extent and orientation of the tree-fall pattern, scientists concluded that the explosion above Tunguska released an energy equivalent to exploding a nuclear bomb between 5 and 10 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University