Universe Today offers up the latest edition of the Carnival of Space while announcing it will become the new venue for this gathering of Web links on space-related subjects. Among the posts garnered this time, it’s Universe Today‘s own take on the Tunguska event that should most resonate with Centauri Dreams readers. Tadeusz J. Jopek (Astronomical Observatory UAM in Poland) and team have run simulations of the 1908 explosion to estimate the velocity and impact angle of the Tunguska meteorite.
“We believe that TCB originated as the result of a breakup of a single body: a comet or an asteroid. In our study we concluded that it is more probable that it was an asteroid. We cannot point to which one; instead we have found several candidates for the Tunguska parent, and the asteroid 2000 WK63 is an example of it,” Dr. Tadeusz said.
Interesting! The relevant question, of course, is just how often we can expect such impacts to occur. Tunguska was, happily, a largely unsettled place at the time of the explosion, but what such a strike could do in a well populated area is horrific to contemplate. Thus the continuing significance of healthy planetary radar systems like Arecibo, whose funding troubles will stay on our radar until resolved.