May 27, 2019 12:06 pm
Updated: May 29, 2019 2:30 pm

Dark Poutine podcast recap: Mystery of the Tunguska event

Trees are seen flattened following the 1908 explosion of a meteor over Tunguska, Russia.

Leonid Kulik/Wikipedia
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On this week’s episode of the Dark Poutine podcast, we hear of the mystery of the Tunguska event.

In the summer of 1908, a huge explosion levelled over 2,000 square kilometres of forest, in Siberia. It happened near the remote Tunguska river and the event caused no known human casualties and it is the largest impact event on Earth in recorded history.

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READ MORE: Doomsday asteroids: Here we go again

The explosion is generally attributed to the air burst of a meteor. It is classified as an impact event, even though no impact crater has been found.

Studies have yielded different estimates of the meteoroid’s size, on the order of 60 to 190 metres (200 to 620 feet), depending on whether the body was a comet or a denser asteroid.

WATCH: The Chelyabinsk meteor explosion, one year later

The Tunguska event is not the only example of a great unobserved explosion event. A smaller air burst occurred over a populated area in Russia on Feb. 15, 2013, at Chelyabinsk in the Ural district of Russia.

The exploding meteoroid was an asteroid that measured about 17 to 20 metres across, with an estimated initial mass of 11,000 tonnes, and inflicted over 1,200 injuries, mainly from broken glass falling from windows shattered by its shock wave.

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Sources:
Russian Site on the Event – photos, investigation and first hand accounts
100 Wonders: The Tunguska Event – Atlas Obscura – Video
NASA article on Tunguska
Nuclear Secrecy – Nukemap
Leonid Kulik
Noctilucent Clouds
Cornell article on Mirror Matter

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