Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mystery Space Blast 'solved'

Astronomers may have solved the mystery of what caused so much havoc in a remote region of Siberia almost a century.

The asteroid was probably a lot of space debris - as Mathilde

At the beginning of June 30, 1908, witnesses said a huge explosion and blinding flash. Thousands of square kilometers of trees were burned and destroyed.

Scientists have long been a comet or asteroid that was believed behind the event - but no impact crater has ever been discovered on an expedition to the territory has never found a large fragment of an object extraterrestrial.

Now, a group of Italian researchers as the definitive answer. After the merger of eyewitness reports ever published seismic data and a new survey of the impact zone, the researchers say the tracks of an asteroid strike at low density.

They think they know, even if the wine to air.

Completely dissolved

"Now we have a good picture of what happened," said Dr Luigi Foschini, a leader of the expedition, told the BBC.

The direction of flattened trees is a strong indication

The explosion, equivalent to 10-15 million tons of TNT occurred in the forests of Siberia, near a place known as Tunguska.

Only a few hunters and hunters who live in the sparsely populated, it is likely that no one was killed. If the impact occurred in a European capital, hundreds of thousands of people who have died.

A flash fire burned thousands of trees near the crash site. The shock wave in the atmosphere around the earth twice. And two days later, there was so much dust in the atmosphere, the newspapers scattered on the night with light in the streets of London, is 10.000 km (6213 miles read).

But nobody was sent to see what happened when the tsar had little interest in what happens to returnees Tungus-central Siberia.

Soil samples

The first expedition to reach the website came in 1930, led by LA Kulik Soviet geologists who was surprised by the magnitude of the devastation and the lack of impact craters. Whatever the object was always they came from outer space, which was conducted in the atmosphere and abandonment.

Almost a century later, scientists still debate what happened in this remote place. It was a comet or asteroid, some have even suggested that there was a hole mini-black, although there is evidence that the side of the earth, as I was.

In addition, none of the recovered samples of soil, wood and water could affect the area of light, what was the Tunguska object a reality.

Researchers at several universities in Italy Tunguska visited several times in recent years. Now, a source of data collection and information that are not used, have more to offer scientific explanations of what happened in 1908.

possible paths

We analyzed the records of several seismic stations in Siberia, which is combined with data on flattened tree directions, provides information on the path of the object. To date, more than 60,000 fallen trees have been studied to determine the location of the explosion.

More than 60,000 fallen trees have been studied to determine the site of the explosion

"We have a detailed analysis of all available scientific literature, including unpublished evidence which have never been brought from outside Russia," said Dr. Foschini. "This allows us to orbit the cosmic body, rushed to calculate."

The object is near Tunguska in the Southeast about 11 kilometers per second (7 miles per second.) With these data, the researchers, a number of possible paths to be pursued.

Of the 886 valid paths calculated at 80% of them have orbits of asteroids with orbits that are associated with only a minority of comets. But if it was an asteroid, because they break everything?

"Perhaps because the object of asteroid Mathilde, who was passing by the spacecraft Zapatero in 1997. Matilda has been photographed a pile of debris with a density very close: the water. What, a fragment of an explosion with shock wave meets the ground. "

The research is published in an upcoming issue of the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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