29 June 2009, JellyBean @ 1:42 pm

tunguska“The mysterious 1908 Tunguska explosion that leveled 830 square miles of Siberian forest was almost certainly caused by a comet entering the Earth’s atmosphere, says new Cornell University research. The conclusion is supported by an unlikely source: the exhaust plume from the NASA space shuttle launched a century later.”

The Tunguska Event, or Tunguska explosion, was a powerful explosion that occurred near the Podkamennaya (Lower Stony) Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai of Russia, at around 7:14 a.m. on June 30, 1908 (June 17 in the Julian calendar, in use locally at the time).

At around 7:17 a.m. local time, Tungus natives and Russian settlers in the hills northwest of Lake Baikal observed a column of bluish light, nearly as bright as the Sun, moving across the sky. About 10 minutes later, there was a flash and a sound similar to artillery fire.

Eyewitnesses closer to the explosion reported the sound source moving east to north. The sounds were accompanied by a shock wave that knocked people off their feet and broke windows hundreds of miles away. The majority of eyewitnesses reported only the sounds and the tremors, and not the sighting of the explosion. Eyewitness accounts differ as to the sequence of events and their overall duration.

The explosion registered on seismic stations across Eurasia. In some places the shock wave would have been equivalent to an earthquake of 5.0 on the Richter scale. It also produced fluctuations in atmospheric pressure strong enough to be detected in Great Britain.

Over the next few days, night skies in Asia and Europe were aglow such that those in London could read a newspaper in their light; it has been theorized that this was due to light passing through high-altitude ice particles formed at extremely cold temperatures, a phenomenon that occurs when the Space Shuttle re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

In the United States, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Mount Wilson Observatory observed a decrease in atmospheric transparency that lasted for several months, from suspended dust.

Various UFO afficionadi have claimed that the Tunguska event was the result of an exploding alien spaceship or even an alien weapon going off to “save the Earth from an imminent threat”. These claims appear to originate from a science fiction story “A Visitor From Outer Space” penned by Soviet engineer Alexander Kazantsev in 1946, in which a nuclear-powered Martian spaceship, seeking fresh water from Lake Baikal, blew up in mid-air. This story was inspired by Kazantsev’s visit to Hiroshima in late 1945.

Read the story on:

Science Daily: Space Shuttle Science Shows How 1908 Tunguska Explosion Was Caused By A Comet

Wikipedia: Tunguska event

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