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Links and Videos of the Week (2010/03)


Tunguska event: trees Exactly 100 years ago, on 30 June 1908, there was a tiny explosion1 in the midst of Siberia in the Tunguska region2, felling a couple trees3. So what? Why blame UFOs or black holes for that – tststs… ;)

Okay, seriously: According to the mostly accepted opinion of scientists, it was an asteroid exploding 5–10 km4 above ground – which explains why there’s no big crater; results of a research group last year indicate that a lake a few miles away from the epicenter may be the result of the impact of a fragment.

» More in Wikipedia.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

  1. with a power of 10–15 megatons TNT, equivalent to over 1000 Hiroshima atom bombs []
  2. accordingly, this post’s title is “Tunguska” in cyrillic letters []
  3. 60–80 millions on an area of 2000 km² []
  4. the exact numbers vary a little, depending on the source []

95 million years to Chicxulub

Warning: A long scientific sentence without humor! (Yes, I need that from time to time.)

Astronomers have now found with calculations of asteroid orbits, chemical examinations of asteroids that crashed on Earth and temporal distribution of impacts also on Moon, Mars and Venus that probably the collision of an asteroid with a diameter of 170 km, called Baptistina, with a 60 km large one 160 (+30/-20) million years ago created 300 large fragments over 10 km (and many smaller ones) including the one that impacted near Chicxulub (Mexiko) 65 million years ago, which most likely was mainly responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Quite interesting how things like that can be determined after so long periods of time… More info on Spiegel Online (German), original article from Nature.