NASA HISTORY: 110th Anniversary of the Tunguska Impact Over Siberia

By  //  June 30, 2018

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Happened on June 30, 1908

ABOVE VIDEO: History channel’s feature of the Tunguska Explosion.

JUNE 30, 1908 – This #InternationalAsteroidDay falls on the 110th anniversary of the Tunguska Impact, which occurred on this day (June 30) in 1908 over Siberia.

An intense, heated blast took down nearly 1,300 square kilometers (800 square miles) of forest, flattening trees and stripping the standing ones of their branches (pictured).

Seismic activity was registered all the way to England, but the blast left no crater.

A very curious event in a remote location, it has held the interest of experts as far back as the early 1920s.

Don Yeomans, now-retired manager of the Near-Earth Object Office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said, “It is the only entry of a large meteoroid we have in the modern era with first-hand accounts,” and yet,

“A century later some still debate the cause and come up with different scenarios that could have caused the explosion. But the generally agreed upon theory is that on the morning of June 30, 1908, a large space rock, about 120 feet across, entered the atmosphere of Siberia and then detonated in the sky.”

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The Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russia on February 15, 2013, and injured 1,600 people reminded many of the 1908 event.

Today, NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at JPL detects and tracks asteroids and comets whose orbits come within 30 million miles of Earth in order to raise awareness should a Tunguska-like situation present itself in the future.