The science News | Scientific ecology

The mystery of the Tunguska meteorite: a huge car only touched the Earth and hid again in space

The mystery of the Tunguska meteorite

The events of June 1908 that took place over Siberia to this day haunt the scientific world. The mystery of the Tunguska meteorite lies, first of all, in the answer to the question: did the meteorite actually exist? June 30, 1908, the silence of the taiga was broken by a powerful roar of impending danger. Something flashed through the air, approaching the ground, "smoothing out" almost 80 million trees in a total area of more than two thousand square kilometres of forest.

Eyewitnesses described what happened as a flight of a huge shiny ball, the movement of which caused broken glass, stucco falling from the walls of the houses, and then a deafening explosion in the depths of the taiga. A deafening explosion occurred in the area of the Podkamennaya Tunguska River.

It was described as an explosion of a meteorite or a car with a capacity of up to 30 megatons at an altitude of up to 15 kilometres. It was the most powerful explosion in human history, although the crater was never found. Exploring the entire territory of the meteorite’s movement to the place of its fall, scientists were able to detect only rock fragments that may have a cosmic origin, and nothing more.

Today, science poses the question this way: was there really a car? Scientists from the Siberian Federal University offered their version of what happened. According to them, a giant iron meteorite could enter the Earth’s atmosphere, which glided at low altitude, and then again appeared in space. It was he who could produce effects similar to the explosion of the Tunguska meteorite, which was never found.

Astronomer Daniil Khrennikov noted that all the conditions of asteroid motion were studied, the sizes of which could be 200, 100 and 50 meters, and the composition of which could be of three different types: stone, iron and ice. Asteroids could pass through the atmosphere of the planet with a minimum trajectory in the range of 10 to 15 kilometres.

These results confirm the hypothesis that a giant iron asteroid approached the Earth, plunged into the atmosphere of the planet, and then continued on its way to a circumsolar orbit. Scientists have created a model of all three asteroid compositions to determine the possibility of an alleged event. The least chance of immersion in the Earth’s atmosphere was at an ice object.

The temperature of the planet’s atmosphere and the speed of the ice car would start to melt it and it could collapse on Earth. A rocky body could also have little chance of such a trip. The most likely "traveller" is an iron car with a diameter of about 200 meters, which flew about three thousand kilometres in the atmosphere, but did not fall.