On June 30, 1908, what appeared to be a huge thermonuclear detonation took place some five miles above Tunguska , Siberia.
In reality, what probably took place was the explosion of a comet that came from space: when it did not reach the surface, no crater was produced, and the lack of debris makes us suppose that it was a comet (which is formed by ice , which evaporated) and not from an asteroid. It is estimated that the object should be about 80 meters in diameter .
In 1927, an expedition managed to penetrate to the scene of the explosion, and what it observed confirmed that, indeed, an explosion had taken place that had dismantled or set fire to all the trees of an area of about 2,000 square kilometers . That means that no less than 60 million trees were destroyed in just seconds. The energy released has been established, by studying the area of annihilation, at approximately thirty megatons .
The explosion was detected by numerous seismographic stations and even by a barographic station in the United Kingdom due to fluctuations in atmospheric pressure that it produced.
Should we be afraid of another similar event? As Florian Freistetter explains in his book A Comet in the Shaker , the short answer is no. The long run: Tunguska-like events are rare, and most likely take place in an uninhabited area: "two-thirds of the earth’s surface is occupied by seas and oceans, and large continental regions are also largely deserted."
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