Headlines > News > Picture of the Day - The Largest Recent Impact Event

Picture of the Day - The Largest Recent Impact Event

Published by Sigurd on Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:35 pm via: NASA
Share
More share options
Tools
Tags

The most powerful natural explosion in recent Earth history occurred on 1908 June 30 when a meteor exploded above the Tunguska River in Siberia, Russia. Detonating with an estimated power 1,000 times greater than the atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima, the Tunguska event leveled trees over 40 kilometers away and shook the ground in a tremendous earthquake.

Tunguska: The Largest Recent Impact Event. Credit: Leonid Kulik Expedition.

Tunguska: The Largest Recent Impact Event. Credit: Leonid Kulik Expedition.

Eyewitness reports are astounding. The above picture was taken by a Russian expedition to the Tunguska site almost 20 years after the event, finding trees littering the ground like toothpicks. Estimates of the meteor’s size range from 60 meters to over 1000 meters in diameter.

Recent evidence suggests that nearby Lake Cheko may even have been created by the impact. Although a meteor the size of the Tunguska can level a city, metropolitan areas take up such a small fraction of the Earth’s surface that a direct impact on one is relatively unlikely. More likely is an impact in the water near a city that creates a dangerous tsunami. One focus of modern astronomy is to find Solar System objects capable of creating such devastation well before they impact the Earth.

1 Comments
20 years after event, and still looks so dilapidated
Leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use