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Crater From 1908 Tunguska Blast Found

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the fire-came-by dept.

Space 192

MaineCoasts writes "A team of scientists from the Marine Science Institute in Bologna claims to have found the crater left by the aerial blast of a comet or asteroid in 1908 in the Tunguska region of Siberia. The blast flattened 770 square miles (2,000 square kilometers) of forest, but to date no remains or crater have been found. This has left open the question of what kind of object made the impact. The team believes that, contrary to previous studies, nearby Lake Cheko is only one century old and 'If the body was an asteroid, a surviving fragment may be buried beneath the lake. If it was a comet, its chemical signature should be found in the deepest layers of sediments.' The team's findings are based on a 1999 expedition to Tunguska and appeared in the August issue of the journal Terra Nova."

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192 comments

Momentary confusion (-1, Offtopic)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280701)

Did anyone else misread the story beneath on the main page as "Ballmer calls Asteroid a 'press release'"?

Re:Momentary confusion (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281717)

Does the monkeyboy throw around asteroids now ?

Re:Momentary confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21282463)

Last I checked he was still throwing chairs

Re:Momentary confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21282503)

Ballmer? I didn't even know her!

X-files revisited (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21280711)

Did they find any black oil?

We've struck oil!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21281505)

Yes [tubgirl.com] -- Don't click this. It is disgusting, hideous, and not safe for work. It is, however, pertinent to the discussion.

The expidition members (1, Offtopic)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280715)

We must verify they are not swarm, less they bring a hive ship and eat us all.

If five limbed grey monsters with swappable appendages start attacking... I'll be hiding in my basement.

Re:The expidition members (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280853)

Somemoddy needs to expand their book horizon.

Area51 series by Robert Doherty, trite and overdone subject, yes. However, done extremely well. And you would get how this is (while bad humor, and possibly worth an 'overrated', not 'offtopic'.

Oh, and read the damn series. They are good books.

Re:The expidition members (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280973)

And you would get how this is (while bad humor, and possibly worth an 'overrated', not 'offtopic'.

He probably got the offtopic mod because he said "I'll be hiding in my basement" instead of "I for one welcome our five limbed overlords" ;)

It is /. after all....

Re:The expidition members (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281027)

but they aren't our overlords, the Arlia are.

I for one welcome our immortal, tall, sun-allergic overlords!

Re:The expidition members (0, Redundant)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281457)

We must verify they are not swarm, less they bring a hive ship and eat us all.

If five limbed grey monsters with swappable appendages start attacking... I'll be hiding in my basement.
OMG! Ponies!!!

I've always wondered (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280745)

I remember reading about this as a kid, probably introduced to it by Carl Sagan in his "Cosmos" series.

At the time I wondered, after seeing all those flattened trees, how they failed to find the crater. Wouldn't it just be a case of going to several spots, drawing a parallel line to the flattened trees, then looking on a map for the point where the lines intersect? Presumably all the trees fell "away" from the blast area.

Re:I've always wondered (4, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280779)

Canventional theory (and TFA) suggest that the explosion was an air-burst about 6 miles above the ground. So the "center" of the blast region is still pretty large.

Re:I've always wondered (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280797)

At the time I wondered, after seeing all those flattened trees, how they failed to find the crater. Wouldn't it just be a case of going to several spots, drawing a parallel line to the flattened trees, then looking on a map for the point where the lines intersect? Presumably all the trees fell "away" from the blast area.
No, the explosion was above ground level, see our prior discussion on this [slashdot.org].

Also, my post on this [slashdot.org] has a link to a PDF with a sketch of the breaking apart and trajectories.

Also, remember how long ago this happened. There was an expedition there but they didn't have the technology we did. I'm not sure if the tree patterns would help you 100 years later.

Airburst (4, Informative)

wiredog (43288) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280805)

An airburst wouldn't leave a crater. Drawing lines would lead to the hypocenter, directly under the burst.

Re:Airburst (3)

Joaz Banbeck (1105839) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281079)

An airburst should leave multiple craters. After all, the pieces have to go someplace. Whether or not we can find those smaller craters after a century is another issue...

Re:Airburst (1, Redundant)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281203)

Old news ... and wrong

Lake Cheko is in the wrong place (8km from the epicentre), the wrong shape (not an impact crater), and at least 5000 years old (by the layers of mud accumulated on the lake bed, and an air-burst 3-6 miles up would not leave an impact crater ....?

Re:Airburst (4, Interesting)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282543)

It might have been multiple air bursts if the comet broke up first. Then you would have a fairly complex pattern. Likely not as simple as the ideal case there a point source blast all goes off at once. The chunk of ice was moving fast and exploded over a period of time. So the blast came from not a point but a few short line segments

Re:Airburst (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21283009)

And just like a grenade exploding in the air above the ground, comet fragments would be driven into the ground below for pickup and discovery. Drawing lines would work out reasonably well, as the center of the blast location would be ideal for finding trace remnants of the comet.

Re:I've always wondered (5, Insightful)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280825)

In theory yes, but you have to know that this is a very remote and large area. And they didn't have the technology we have available now.

Right now we'd simply take some pictures with a satelite, and fly some helicopters to the impact spot. Back then they would've had to mount an expedition on foot. And that was simply not feasible.

By the time it became possible to reach the impact site relatively easy, nature had already taken its course and finding the impact spot became impossible/very hard.

Re:I've always wondered (5, Funny)

larpon (974081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281071)

This picture was taken over the crater in Siberia with an onboard polaroid during the
Apollo 11 mission...

   \ | /
  -  O  -
   / | \

It reminds me of something...

Re:I've always wondered (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281131)

What do you mean? The expedition was less then a Decade ago IE 1999 not 1899.

Re:I've always wondered (1)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281339)

According to me 1908 is alot closer to 1899 then it is to 1999!

Re:I've always wondered (1)

fataugie (89032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282297)

How would an expedition 9 years BEFORE the blast tell you anything about it?

What kills me is that a 1999 expidition is just now being published? WTF have they been doing all these years? How slow are they typing? Did they get a monk to transcribe it for them?

Re:I've always wondered (1)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281397)

And if you meant that the recent expedition could've just followed the path I would have to disappoint you... In about 100 years nature restores itself pretty well!

Re:I've always wondered (4, Interesting)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280843)

From what I know of the event, and as is stated in the summary, it was an aerial blast; i.e. the asteroid/comet/alien-spaceship exploded before impact. The "crater" where the remains of the $object should be found would not be directly under that explosion, as the $object would have some unknown velocity at some unknown angle.

While the method you propose makes sense, all it really tells you is where the explosion occured, not where the remains can be found.

Aikon-

Oblig Ghostbusters (5, Funny)

Osurak (1013927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281329)

Dr Ray Stantz: Are you okay?
Louis: Who are you guys?
Dr Ray Stantz: We're the Ghostbusters.
Louis: Who does your taxes?
Dr Ray Stantz: You know, Mr. Tully, you are a most fortunate individual.
Louis: I know!
Dr Ray Stantz: You have been a participant in the biggest interdimensional cross rip since the Tunguska blast of 1909!
Louis: Felt great.
Dr. Egon Spengler: We'd like to get a sample of your brain tissue.
Louis: Okay.

Re:I've always wondered (4, Informative)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282819)

The trees that were directly below the air explosion were still upright. The trees at some distance were flattened. A large explosion all around Europe was heard on that night, along with a glow in the sky. But it took several months for the expedition to find out what had caused the explosion/light. By that time, the crater would have filled with water and appeared to be a lake to the expedition team.

If it had been a loosely packed asteroid or a comet, it would have disintegrated into lots of small chunks and vaporised before reaching the ground.

The eyewitness reports are interesting:

"Kezhemskoe village. On the 17th an unusual atmospheric event was observed. At 7:43 the noise akin to a strong wind was heard. Immediately afterwards a horrific thump sounded, followed by an earthquake which literally shook the buildings, as if they were hit by a large log or a heavy rock. The first thump was followed by a second, and then a third.

We have friends who own a house next to quarry. Whenever there is a major explosion there always seems to two explosions heard; the first seems to be the shockwave travelling through the ground (a large dull sound thump) while the second is the shockwave through the air which sounds like a shotgun being fired. Then there is the all clear. So maybe the lake is the crater.

I vote for a comet (2, Funny)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280765)

With the lake being the melted ice of the comet.

Re:I vote for a comet (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21283105)

Imagine how much extra the bottled water industry could charge for THAT.

"This water came from ice that sustained a comet 4.6 billion years. Don't you deserve the same? Buy Samethingastheothers Water. It's out of this world!"

Old news? (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280769)

Wasn't this on slashdot a few months ago? I remember this being discussed before...

Re:Old news? (1)

z0idberg (888892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281319)

Re:Old news? (1)

NeilTheStupidHead (963719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282345)

Yeah, I remember that myself, but after a quick look, the previous story seems to be preliminary results and this one is the 'official' results.

Re:Old news? (2, Funny)

grand_it (949276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281729)

Wasn't this on slashdot a few months ago? I remember this being discussed before...

Isn't this comment on slashdot a few times a month? I remember dupes being discussed before... ;)

I'm a bit worried (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280773)

If scientists can't find a crater that's 2,000 square miles across then what chance do they have the day they lose their keys down the back of the sofa?

Re:I'm a bit worried (5, Funny)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280877)

"If scientists can't find a crater that's 2,000 square miles across then what chance do they have the day they lose their keys down the back of the sofa?"

Considering YOU think that square miles are a measure of distance rather than area, and that kilometers are equivalent to miles, I'd say they have a better chance than you do.

more importantly (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21280791)

the impact site is 3.26 km wide. this corresponds to a resonance chamber for the tau muon rays we are all familiar with, with a frequency of 23.44 kHz. please adjust your tin foil hats accordingly

Re:more importantly (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281361)

Most of Tesla's patents are still classified secret, so it really comes down to the integrety of these investigators. If Tesla caused the 1908 Explosion, the us government would not want that fact known and widely accepted. So is it likely the US Gov. is secretly funding a scientific team? What is needed is for Nova, or National Geographic or some respected news agency to take on Tesla's claim and not quickly dismiss it because it is too fantastic. Lack of a crater and no evidence of extra-terrestrial stuff are not the only facts supporting Tesla's claim, but includes what I've never seen any documentary explain, the glowing nights after the Explosion... which Tesla predicted.

wait... (2, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281469)

are you trolling us?

if you are, that's a fantastic bait hook right there, congratulations on crafting that lure

if you are not trolling us, and you are actually and earnestly interested in tesla causing tunguska, then congratulations to me

for reeling in with my conspiracy theorist joke a genuine paranoid schizophrenic

But don't worry about my incredulous attitude friend, I'M AN AGENT OF THE ILLUMINATI

i was sent here to distract you with silly jokes, to interfere with your concentration in the important search for the real truth. and now i am casting aspersions on your good name in desperation, so you do not let more of the truth out

we are watching you

below is the secret scrambled communique on subject "catmistake" for other illuminati agents on slashdot. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DECRYPT WITHOUT PROPER AUTHORIZATION OR YOU MAY SUFFER IRREVERSIBLE BRAIN DAMAGE:

dscnd f sxiro 9vnfiol wn ofdsn aj opitrni tgprepe wnf nbwuioqn n

Re:wait... (3, Funny)

catmistake (814204) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282509)

No, not a troll but an ask.
The Tesla explanation is always quickly dismissed. My point is that quick dismissal never quashes underdog theories. What is needed is a thoroughly complete study of why it couldn't have been Tesla. I realize its sometimes impossible to disprove anything, but, afaik no one has even tried. "Its ridiculous, that's why," is not a scientific explaination. Many many many sane individuals, either for lack of specific scientific knowledge or real evidence to the contrary, think maybe its possible... so if its not, those that know should stop being so evasive and dismissive, come down from their self-proclaimed iamsmarterthaneveryone towers and just break it down once and for all from all possible angles.

And, yes, you are funny. plz keep it up!

Re:wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21282693)

> What is needed is a thoroughly complete study of why it couldn't have been Tesla.

Blahblahblah burden of proof blahblahblah.

Re:wait... (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282965)

As compelling as your argument is, I already acknowledged that its near impossible to disprove something. I'm saying "do it anyway," because this isn't criminal court, and nothing is stopping you from doing so. The Tesla Theory has many facts offerred, and I've never seen any argument against it other that "it couldn't have been Tesla because it was something else with equally speculative science." Physicists, or whomever, should try directly contradicting Tesla's "claims." If successful, people like me won't inquire again, as it'll be settled that it was something else.

i can help you solve your problem (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21283023)

occam's razor

problem solved

actually, occam's razor is useful when you talk about relative probabilities that are roughly the same scale... such as 99% versus 1% probability: the 99% probability explanation should be your answer. occam's razor at work

however, in your particular query, i'd say the probabilities approach quadrillions to 1

so perhaps when the probability of a fanciful creative scenario is considered, such as tesla causing tunguska, perhaps we should talk about "occam's sledgehammer"

occam's sledgehammer: when you are certain the scenario can be explained away simply out of how bizarrely exotic it is

occam's sledgehammer: the magnification of force experienced when using occam's razor against the broken thoughts of conspiracy theorists, crackpots, and paranoid schizophrenics

heh

occam's sledgehammer ;-)

i like it, i made up a funny yet catchy and useful term

Re:i can help you solve your problem (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 6 years ago | (#21283121)

In this case Occam's Razor is a cop out, philosophy, not science. You're not helping, but others will. I asked for anything other than a quick dismissal, but thanks for that quick dismissal. Please, will anyone else give it a try? I am just sure there is REAL scientific proof that it couldn't be Tesla, and I'd like to be introduced to it.

Re:i can help you solve your problem (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21283357)

Much as I DISAGREE with Tesla causing the explosion (the evidence supports the comet/asteroid impact much bette), I must agree on the Occam's Razor being a cop out, and would caution against using Occam's Razor (or whatever more potent version you describe) as if it's fact.

It's just a guideline, much like Moore's "Law". There's nothing specific about it, and it can indeed be wrong. For instance early astronomers look at the sun: clearly it's a big ass ball of fire, and upon study it's made mostly out of one of the most flammable gases known to man. Now, in that time before the age of the Earth was known, what was the simplest explanation? It would be that all that hydrogen is on fire and burning like crazy. Any theory about gravity crushing together atoms to form a different element and expending a portion of that matter as energy would have been dismissed as wildly imaginative, and unnecessary given such a simple explanation sitting right in front of them. But, as we naturally found out after we had more knowledge to look at the problem, the simple explanation here was not the right one.

Re:more importantly (1)

shawnce (146129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281589)

...but includes what I've never seen any documentary explain, the glowing nights after the Explosion... which Tesla predicted.
...which can also happen as a result of material in the atmosphere which can easily be explained by an air burst of a comet, etc.

Re:more importantly (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282683)

A comet airbust causes magnetic fluctuations in the upper atmosphere leading to glowing night skies for a week after the event? Are there eye-witness acounts of this occurring prior to the 1908 Explosion? I know there's many accounts in history of impacts and crud hitting the atmosphere, and I've read a few, but I've never heard of this phenomenon being reported either prior or subsequent to that week after the Explosion. Any that can link to this apparently well known phenomenon... plz do.

Re:more importantly (2, Funny)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282783)

HE'S FEEDING US FALSE INFORMATION!
he's trying to get us to retune our hats to let in the REAL frequency!

the speed of light / (3.26 kilometers) = 91.9608767 kilohertz

tau muon rays do not travel at the speed of light (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21283077)

where does your propaganda come from?

people can't even get the speed of tau muon rays right? they come straight from the golden orifice of ga-ur! who in their right mind would not possess this information? it should be memorized by schoolchildren

egads

WE HAVE BEEN INFILTRATED BY THE PULAXI, SPREADING THEIR USUAL LIES

trust no one and nothing

it wasn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21280831)

You mean it wasn't a Tesla Death Ray? Someone tell Spider so he can stop writing such slander about Nikky.

nova (-1, Offtopic)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281009)

i don't know much about craters - but seeing the name of that journal, Terra Nova got me to thinking about Aldo Nova. I am enjoying Fantasy at full volume as I type this. Feel free to jump on the bandwagon and blast a little '80s virtuoso guitar work yourself.

Re:nova (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21281105)

You just had to do that... OK, I just fired up Heather Nova's Walk This World and queued up Verona.

Re:nova (0, Offtopic)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21283209)

OK, I'm going to take the OT mod risk, too.

The first time I ever heard of Aldo Nova was a long time ago when he was opening for UFO at the San Diego Sports Arena. Not only was he great, not only did he blow UFO away, but a number of people left after his act, having only shown up to see Aldo Nova and not caring at all about UFO.

Phooey! (1, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281123)

A team of scientists from the Marine Science Institute in Bologna claims to have found the crater left by the aerial blast of a comet or asteroid in 1908 in the Tunguska region of Siberia.

This is nothing but a bunch of bologna.

Dan East

Re:Phooey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21281769)

Your comment would have been funnier if you didn't insist on signing it. We can all see your name where it says "by Dan East (318230)". Oh, and an exclamation point after "bologna" would have helped too.

Tesla connection? (4, Interesting)

sobolwolf (1084585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281139)

I watched a google movie about Nikola Tesla the other night and there was speculation that the blast may have had something to do with the "death ray" that he was fooling around with at the time.

Tesla built his "death ray" at Wardencliffe on Long Island, and it is a possible that he tested it one night in 1908. The story goes something like this. At the time, Robert Peary was trekking to the North Pole and Tesla asked him to look out for unusual activity. On the evening of 30 June 1908, Tesla aimed his death ray towards the Arctic and turned it on. Tesla then watched the newspapers and sent telegrams to Peary, but heard about nothing unusual in the Arctic.

However, he did hear about the unexplainable event in Tunguska, and was thankful no one was killed, as it was clear to him that his death ray had overshot. He then dismantled his machine, as he felt it was too dangerous to keep it.
Mad Scientists FTW!!!!!

Re: Tesla connection? (3, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282027)

I watched a google movie about Nikola Tesla the other night and there was speculation that the blast may have had something to do with the "death ray" that he was fooling around with at the time.
And of course, everything you hear about Tesla is true.

Tesla built his "death ray" at Wardencliffe on Long Island, and it is a possible that he tested it one night in 1908.
Who can argue with unsourced speculation like that?

Re: Tesla connection? (1)

drgould (24404) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282339)

Who can argue with unsourced speculation like that?

Where's "+1 Sarcasm" when you need it?

Re:Tesla connection? (-1, Flamebait)

ceeam (39911) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282059)

Amazing how "atheistic", "rational" people are ready to believe all kinds of bullshit if there's a word "science" in it.

Re:Tesla connection? (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282243)

Awesome, very informative post. While we're at it, I heard that the cold summer of 1816 was caused by Benjamin Franklin's nature-tampering experiments with electricity. [ijpr.org]

Googlink (5, Informative)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281153)

Google map [google.co.uk] of the point that the National Geographic map link goes to

Re:Googlink (2, Interesting)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281279)

Whereas this [google.com] is where the BBC reported [bbc.co.uk] it was back in June.

Re:Googlink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21282545)

National "Geographic"? Not only do they serve 6 months old stuff as news, they don't even get their geography right.

National Geographic's coords [google.co.uk] point to the village of Podkammenaya-Tunguska, completely unrelated except that it lies at the river of the same name, near to which the impact occurred. Note that the river is 1865 km long, and the given coordinates are 630 km away from Lake Cheko. The BBC coords [google.com] do point to Lake Cheko.

Re:Googlink (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282629)

Actually, those coords aren't from the beeb, I got them by looking up "Lake Cheko" on Wikipedia.

Re:Googlink (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282671)

I know people love to see patterns where there are none - so does anybody else see the larger circle with the lake in the north-eastern segment?

The lake already existed (3, Interesting)

Joaz Banbeck (1105839) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281299)

From a 1960 interview with a witness, he refers to the existence of lake Cheko prior to the event:

In that place the seven rich Dzhenkoul brothers in those days pastured a reindeer herd of 600-700 head. The brothers were rich. On that day, [my] father went to meet the reindeer on the Ilimpo [river] (in the north). The herd was pastured between the Kimchu river and the Polnoty (Churgim) river. On the upper reaches of the Polnoty river there was a storehouse. There was a second storehouse at the mouth of the Cheko...
More at: http://www.vurdalak.com/tunguska/witness/dzhenkoul_l.htm [vurdalak.com]

Re:The lake already existed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21281795)

Where in that does it mention Lake Cheko? Maybe I'm just missing something...

Re:The lake already existed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21281895)

I'd like to clarify my above statement: I see the sentence that says "the mouth of the Cheko". "mouth", to me, indicates a river, not a lake.

Re:The lake already existed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21281917)

Yep, you are. Lakes sometimes have 'mouths', ie: the point where a stream enters the lake.

then it would be at the center of the earth now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21282009)

If a microscopic meteor struck the earth then it would be at the center of the earth now, slowly eating away at the center, then the mantle, then the oceans (like mars).

Re:The lake already existed (3, Informative)

EnderGT (916132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282163)

Something to remember about that "witness account":

L. V. Dzhenkoul was born in 1904, so his personal memories of the 1908 Tunguska Event are minimal. Here he is recounting what he was told by his father V[asilii?] I[l'ich] Dzhenkoul and uncle I[van] I[l'ich] Dzhenkoul (both long dead by the time of Kolobkova's 1960 interview.

It seems highly likely to me that this individual is using "the mouth of the Cheko" as a landmark that is known to him, and is not necessarily indicating that this feature was present prior to the incident.

Comet, meteor, or ... microscopic black hole? (1)

hot_wasabi (683963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281509)

There's an intersting Sci Fi novel that asks "What if the cataclysmic Tunguska explosion of 1908 was caused, not by a meteor or a comet, but by a microscopic black hole?": Singularity by Bill DeSmedt, 2004 [amazon.com]. Download the FREE unabridged audio book [podiobooks.com], read by the author.

Re:Comet, meteor, or ... microscopic black hole? (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281601)

Didn't David Brin's Earth use the same idea?

Re:Comet, meteor, or ... microscopic black hole? (1)

hot_wasabi (683963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281677)

Indeed! I'd say that Singularity is more of an action/mystery, whereas Brin's Earth is more speculative/philosophical SF.

Re:Comet, meteor, or ... microscopic black hole? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281667)

Sounds like Earth [amazon.com] written by David Brin...in 1991. It was up for a Hugo, same year.

Re:Comet, meteor, or ... microscopic black hole? (1)

hot_wasabi (683963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282621)

Apparently Brin is a fan of Singularity, per this back cover blurb: back cover [amazon.com] of Singularity: "DeSmedt veers an action-packed thriller into perilous realms of black hole physics. The combination of adrenaline and intellect sizzles." -- David Brin, Hugo and Nebula award-winning author.

Or antimatter, cosmic string, or other buzzword. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282487)

The speculation that the Tunguska impact might have been a quantum black hole was rife during the brief period between Hawking's conception of the idea and his later demolition of it. Larry Niven used it as part of the background for his 1975 short story "The Borderlands of Sol", starring Beywulf Schaffer and a distant descendant of the physicist and SF writer Robert Forward.

David Brin's 1990 novel Earth is about an artificial super-dense object, a quantum string as massive and much longer lived than a black hole, that has been injected into the Earth to destroy it. The possibility that the injection point was Tunguska is brought up.

Antimatter has been another popular explanation for the Tunguska event.

"And Having Writ" was better (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21283475)

It's a story about aliens who's drive malfunctions on final approach to earth. They have no choice but to use their last ditch 'uncertainty machine' which catapults them into a mirror universe where they don't crash at Tunguska. They try to pull the old 'increase he native's tech level so they can fix our spacecraft' routine, so they travel around the planet trying to jump start WWI, but things go hilariously awry. Great story.

ObGhostbusters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21281897)

The Tunguska Blast was the biggest interdimensional crostip until the Gozer event of 1984.

After all these years! (1)

ale_ryu (1102077) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281965)

They finally suspect that the suspicious lake laying right at the center of a suspiciously devastated area might be the crater left by a comet crash.
Nah, seriously speaking, it must have been pretty hard to figure it out after all these years. Tip of the hat to them!


ale

Nothing new, exaggerated story by Nat. Geo. (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282049)

Gasperini claims this is a new discovery, and yet in 2001 he was publishing papers indicating this belief. I think he's exaggerating when he says "we didn't have a clue that Lake Cheko might fill a crater" before finding this latest evidence.

Either that, or National Geographic is misrepresenting his Gasperini's quotes to make a story where there isn't one.

Re:Nothing new, exaggerated story by Nat. Geo. (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282401)

The impact was in 1908 - First expedition to investigate was in 1927 - no crater found

The epicentre was marked by a group of trees still standing upright, their branches and bark stripped off, and all the trees around them blown over away from this point, what is now known to be the classic signs of an air-blast

The Lake was known about and recorded before the event, is much older than the event, and is not an impact crater!

Note this study was done by Marine Geologists who are obviously familiar with the lasting effects of air-blasts and terrestrial impact craters?

What, no Ghostbusters quotes? (-1, Redundant)

altinos.com (919185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282299)

Dr Ray Stantz: You have been a participant in the biggest interdimensional cross rip since the Tunguska blast of 1909! Louis: Felt great. Dr. Egon Spengler: We'd like to get a sample of your brain tissue. Louis: Okay.

likely natural gas, not comet/asteroid/etc. (3, Interesting)

Sara Chan (138144) | more than 6 years ago | (#21283081)

The hypothesis that the blast was due to a comet/asteroid/etc. has been around for a long time. The problem with this hypothesis is that it does not fit at all well with the observations (e.g. the strange sounds and lights that preceded the blast for days; and so on). An alternative hypothesis was proposed by Wolfgang Kundt, a researcher at the Institut für Astrophysik der Universität Bonn:

Kundt W. (2001),
The 1908 Tunguska catastrophe: An alternative explanation [ernet.in]”,
Current Science, 81: 399–407.

Kundt's paper explains the various problems with the comet/asteroid hypothesis. It also proposes an alternative hypothesis: that Tunguska was a natural gas leak (from the ground), that went on for days, building up, until ignited by a lightning strike.

This explanation seems to fit the observations well. Perhaps the main reason it has not gotten much attention is that it is not very exotic.
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