he year is 1908, and it’s just after seven in the morning. A man is sitting on the front porch of a trading post at Vanavara in Siberia. Little does he know, in a few moments, he will be hurled from his chair and the heat will be so intense he will feel as though his shirt is on fire.
That’s how the Tunguska event felt 40 miles from ground zero.
Today, June 30, 2008, is the 100th anniversary of that ferocious impact near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in remote Siberia–and after 100 years, scientists are still talking about it.
“If you want to start a conversation with anyone in the asteroid business all you have to say is Tunguska,” says Don Yeomans, manager of the Near-Earth Object Office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “It is the only entry of a large meteoroid we have in the modern era with first-hand accounts.”
(via Hit and Run)
See also: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunguska_event and Tunguska event in fiction. The latter notes that the Tunguska Event was mentioned in Ghostbusters.