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International Conference "100 years since Tunguska phenomenon: Past, present and future"

The Conference is organised by:
    * Russian Academy of Sciences - Institute for Dynamics of Geospheres
    * Lomonosov Moscow State University -
      Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Institute of Mechanics
    * Meteorite Committee of Russian Academy of Sciences


The Conference is devoted to the 100-year anniversary of the Tunguska phenomenon. The purpose of the conference is to integrate the efforts of inter-disciplinary experts in understanding the Tunguska event and similar impact phenomena.

Date: June 26-28, 2008.
Moscow, Leninsky Prospekt, 32


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The stunning amount of forest devastation at Tunguska a century ago in Siberia may have been caused by an asteroid only a fraction as large as previously published estimates, Sandia National Laboratories supercomputer simulations suggest.

The asteroid that caused the extensive damage was much smaller than we had thought.  That such a small object can do this kind of destruction suggests that smaller asteroids are something to consider. Their smaller size indicates such collisions are not as improbable as we had believed - Sandia principal investigator Mark Boslough of the impact that occurred June 30, 1908.
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The infamous Tunguska explosion, which mysteriously levelled an area of Siberian forest nearly the size of Tokyo a century ago, might have been caused by an impacting asteroid far smaller than previously thought.
The fact that a relatively small asteroid could still cause such a massive explosion suggests "we should be making more efforts at detecting the smaller ones than we have till now," said researcher Mark Boslough, a physicist at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M.
The explosion near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River on June 30, 1908, flattened some 500,000 acres (2,000 square kilometres) of Siberian forest. Scientists calculated the Tunguska explosion could have been roughly as strong as 10 to 20 megatons of TNT 1,000 times more powerful than the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

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A team of Italian scientists from the University of Bologna recently identified a lake in the Tunguska region as the possible impact crater from the 1908 Tunguska event. Lake Cheko is a small bowl-shaped lake, situated approximately 8 kilometres north-north-west of the epicenter of the cataclysmic event. Although the lake is relatively shallow and more elliptical in its form (elliptical craters usually occur only if the angle of entry is less than about 10 degrees), samples from the basin suggest that the lake fills an impact crater.

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Crater from 1908 Russian space impact found, team says
Almost a century after a mysterious explosion in Russia flattened a huge swath of Siberian forest, scientists have found what they believe is a crater made by the cosmic object that made the blast.
The crater was discovered under a lake near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in western Siberia, where the cataclysm, known as the Tunguska event, took place.

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The famous Tunguska event is to have its 100th anniversary next year;  but, despite the age, scientists  still seek to reveal its mysteries.
Scientists from the Moscow Institute of Geosphere Dynamics applied mathematical model to study the poorly studies phenomena  of giant bolides.  These cosmic bodies have diameter between 50 to 1000 m, which  mostly disintegrates in the Earths atmosphere,  leaving neither crater, and few  fragments.
Their model showed that despite the  cosmic bodies size, density, speed and entry angle all  the  bolides behave alike. A cosmic body enters the Earths atmosphere, which causing  its shape  to  pancake out and increase the bolides surface  area. The flattening is followed by the disintegration and extreme evaporation of the bolide. This turns the bolide fragments into a jet of very hot gas, moving towards the Earths surface, and a plume of hot gas blasted away from the Earth.

Adapted from Source (Russian)

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