The Tunguska racing car | Science

The Tunguska racing car | Science

On June 30, 1908, at 7 and 17 in the morning, the immensity of a fireball illuminated the vicinity of the Podkamennaya Tunguska River, in the Siberian taiga. Then the earth began to tremble and giant waves rose from the river while the winds shook the yurts (typical huts) as if it were an earthquake.

To get an idea of ​​the size of the disaster, the explosive energy was considered 185 times stronger than the Hiroshima bomb. The tsarist government demonstrated its interest in presenting the catastrophe as if it were a divine warning, a celestial punishment before the revolutionary shadow that hovered over the country. It could not be less. Any event, however tremendous, is always used in favor of the ruling class.

Years later, in 1921, with the revolution already installed and during the Lenin government, the Russian mineralogist Leonid Kulik He was in charge of directing the first expedition to investigate what happened. But the conditions of the terrain limited the investigation and the Kulik team had to return without having reached the area of ​​the explosion.

In 1927 another expedition would be launched, again under Kulik's orders. This time the expedition members managed to reach the affected area, reaching the place where the yurts were killed and the trees uprooted. The few who remained standing did so naked from branches, like telephone poles.

Carried away by a supernatural terror, the neighbors believed that what had happened was a divine punishment, a curse from heaven that had brought down their homes, knocked down the trees and killed animals.

At first, the inhabitants of the area were reluctant to talk. Carried away by supernatural terror, they believed that what had happened was a divine punishment, a curse from heaven that had brought down their homes, knocked down trees and killed animals. Hundreds of reindeer were killed.

Although no traces were found, nor any evidence of the impact crater, it was speculated with the effect of a meteorite. In the absence of signals, Kulik reaffirmed his hypothesis by pointing out that the Tunguska meteorite never hit the earth. The dead reindeer, the waves in the river and the uprooted trees were the effect of the impact on the atmosphere; a powerful explosion that devastated the area.

However, for the people who had lived through the disaster, all that remained shrouded in mystery, so that by not finding an explanation, the imagination would come to replace the absence of scientific rigor. Moreover, for years the cause was attributed to a flying saucer that crashed into Earth.

The version of the alien ship was in force until recently. The science fiction writer of Polish origin Stanisław Lem would contribute to this. His work Astronauts (Impedimenta) it starts with the Tunguska disaster, because of "an interplanetary ship that had reached the Earth after a hyperbolic journey from the vicinity of the constellation of the Whale, and that when preparing to land had begun to draw a series of ellipses around our planet that were getting closer and closer ", as he wrote in the first chapter, entitled The Siberian racing car.

But in the early 90s the unknowns were cleared. According to the Russian authorities, a team of physicists came to explain that it was a meteorite, as Kulik pointed out in his time. If there were no remains, it was because he destroyed himself with a beam generated from the meteorite itself. Because when an object enters at high speed in the atmosphere, it is heated in such a way that the release of electrons begins. In this way, losing electrons is positively charged, generating a potential difference that unleashes its energy in the form of electric shock. That's why no remains were found. Neither impact crater. The meteorite was consumed in the explosion caused by himself.

However, the clarification does not stop making us feel insecure, because, as we know, probability is nothing other than the degree of certainty that an event occurs, such that if it has happened once, it can happen again. But while the prophets squander probabilities, scientists estimate that meteorites such as the one that swept the vicinity of the Podkamennaya Tunguska River may collide with the Earth once every few centuries.

With such clarification, we do not have to worry about, in any case we would have to worry about future generations. It is very possible that while they are occupied in squares a list of weddings in a computer program, or in saving for the last model of utilitarian, or of intelligent prosthesis that shoot photos only with receiving the order by mouth of its owner, a ball of fire approaches their homes. It is very possible.

The stone ax it is a section where Montero Glez, with a will to prose, exercises his particular siege on scientific reality to show that science and art are complementary forms of knowledge.


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