Little Asteroid, Big Fireball

By Carl Zimmer | December 18, 2007 10:19 pm

tunguska2.jpgIs it wrong to find pictures of destruction beautiful? This is a frame from a supercomputer simulation of the Tunguska meteorite. It exploded over Siberia in 1908 and flattened miles of trees. The simulation suggests that the devastation could have been caused by a far smaller explosion than previously thought–3 to 5 megatons, instead of 10 to 20. And since there are many more asteroids in that smaller size range, the risks of a devastating impact may be greater than previously thought. Maybe not enough to cause mass extinctions, but to knock out a fair piece of real estate. Go here to read more and to watch a series of simulation movies.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: General

Comments (1)

  1. Impresionant and really very interesting. Thanks

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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