For a Kinder, Gentler Society
The Tungus Event, or The Great Siberian Meteorite
  • John Engledew
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The Tungus Event, or The Great Siberian Meteorite.
Sound Bite
Something  exploded above Siberia in 1908 and no one is quite sure what — or  why. What burned 830 square miles of forest and some 30 million trees on a fine summer's morning? This book combines a hard popular science approach and lively description of the "Tungus event", giving the reader the stories of the early expeditions, the research that has gone on over a century, and a range of possible explanations.

About the Author

John Engledew has published articles in the Journal of the British Astronomical Society and the Seattle Astronomical Society Magazine. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

 

About the Book

This popular science book shares the fascination of the Tungus Event, a major mystery of the 20th century, in a factual and informed way. It provides "on-the-ground" descriptions of the site and explains the findings...

This popular science book shares the fascination of the Tungus Event, a major mystery of the 20th century, in a factual and informed way. It provides "on-the-ground" descriptions of the site and explains the findings and the puzzlement of international scientists who have investigated it over the decades. 

After a brief and readable overview of comets, meteors, the sun and the solar system, the author ponders the range of possible explanations for the "great Siberian meteorite." The research is up to date, factual and scientific. While making no absurd claims to solving the puzzle, the author studies some intriguing clues in NASA’s orbit diagrams for Comet Encke, and he is bold in discussing the possible causes of what was the greatest natural explosion in recorded history.

As he points out, 

  • [Hypotheses] include rogue asteroids, mini black holes and even alien intervention.…These explanations are not entirely equal to the facts. In the unique case of the Tunguska event, there was wholesale destruction to the mighty taiga woodlands but none of the debris that one would expect should exist from the body itself. Evidence like a strewn field of meteorite debris or meteoric dust on the trees and ground were never found, nor were any craters, in the area beneath the site of the fireball nor anywhere along the path it took. There are no craters because the Tunguska Cosmic Body (TCB) did not hit the ground. Atmospheric anomalies prior to the dramatic appearance of the fiery body puzzlingly occurred for several days, adding to the enigma.

There are just a handful of English-language books on this subject. The most recent, The Tunguska Mystery, by the Russian Rubstov (Astronomers Universe, Springer Science 2009) is authoritative but highly technical and hard going for the general reader. Mr. Engledew instead tells the story in a balanced and engaging style.


Reviews
Choice December 2010 | More »
Book News Inc. Portland, OR | More »

Pages 178
Year: 2010
BISAC: SCI004000 SCIENCE / Astronomy
BISAC: SCI042000 SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Meteorology & Climatology
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-780-9
Price: USD 21.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-781-6
Price: USD 31.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-782-3
Price: USD 21.95
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