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Тунгусский метеорит найден?At the bottom of lake Cheko i not far from the epicenter of the disaster lies - huge body. Tunguska phenomenon, coupled with the death of the "Titanic" one of the disasters of the symbols of the XX century may be found. After more than a century after the Grand Siberian doomsday luck smiled Italian geophysicists, devoted to studying the phenomenon for years.

For 104 years have passed since the Tunguska catastrophe for the study of this phenomenon were outfitted dozens of expeditions dedicated to the hundreds of research papers and about its nature a lot scientific and frankly fantastic hypotheses. special popularity issue has become in recent years the Russian popularizers of pseudoscience of all stripes. domestic TV makers, for example, in one of his imperishable masterpieces attributed to the Tunguska catastrophe antics American inventor Nikola Tesla.

A powerful explosion, accompanied by the roar of seismic waves and unusual atmospheric phenomena, occurred early in the morning of 30 June 1908 in Central Siberia (today Krasnoyarsk region), not far from the river polka-Menno Tunguska. as recalled the locals of this sparsely populated area of the taiga, about seven o'clock in the morning over the pool of the Yenisei river from the South-East to North-West at high altitude blew a huge ball of fire. The explosion was accompanied by seismic waves and atmospheric glow in different countries was observed several days.

The phenomenon of international scale

It is known that seismic waves from Thun russkogo explosion was recorded by many obser vetoriali the Northern hemisphere, and unusual candle deposits was observed in Northern Europe and Central Asia.

thus, residents of London could at midnight to read Newspapers without additional light sources. In the sky for a long time were observed noctilucent clouds, residents of many regions have witnessed an unusual colored sunsets. The sound of the explosion was heard at a distance of 800 kilometers, and an unusual light effects in the atmosphere continued until the end of July.


It was subsequently established that the explosion occurred at a height of five to ten kilometers above the surface of the taiga. he knocked about 80 million trees on an area of two thousand square kilometers. It is fallen trees and later became the main sources of information about the mysterious catastrophe.

Immediate witnesses of the event were deaf residents of nearby villages. In the first publications of local Newspapers reported that the fall of the meteorite noticed passengers of a passing train, the peasants of the village karlinskeho saw in the sky "extremely strong glow could look)"and "Baba cry, thinking that was the end of the world. Soon the interest to what happened was gone. only a few years later the explosion was interpreted by scientists as the fall of a large cosmic body (asteroid or comet).

The first scientific expedition designed to shed light on the Siberian catastrophe, was organized only in 1927 the Soviet specialist in the study of meteorites Leonid Kulik.

During the expedition Kulik has identified the probable site of the explosion as the center of the field, from which tens of kilometers were fallen trees. the epicenter (the projection of the point of the explosion on the surface of the Earth), he called the place where the burnt deprived crowns of trees left standing vertically Kulik called their utility poles.

According to the head of the expedition, taiga fell iron meteorite, in search of which were thrown all forces. During the expedition the scientists interviewed the local residents, tried in vain to find the remaining crater or collect meteoritic matter. Instead, the researchers only found a small thermokarst pits that were mistaken for small meteorite craters.

The main task for future expeditions was to find fragments or whole meteor in the taiga. Despite the fact that in the 20-ies and 30-ies Kulik has organized four more expeditions, which was first held and aerial photography of the terrain, no trace of a falling body, nor left craters could not be found.

Eyewitness

the inhabitant of settlement Vanavara semen Semenov recalled:

"...At this point I was so hot, as if I was on fire shirt. I wanted to break and throw off the shirt, but the sky was shut and I heard a strong blow. I was dropped off the porch three fathoms. After hitting the go such a knock, as if the sky fell stones or fired from guns, the earth trembled, and when I was lying on the ground, pressed his head, fearing that the stones are not kicked in the head. At that moment the heavens opened up, from the North blew hot wind like a cannon, who left on earth traces in tracks. Then it turned out that many glass Windows, carved..."


That crater for many years did not lead to success, made geophysicists to doubt that the impactor actually touched the surface of the Earth. This circumstance led to the emergence of many alternative hypotheses. In 1969 in the almanac "Nature" And So Zotkin, member of the Committee on meteorites of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, even published an article "to help the drafters of the hypotheses connected with the fall of the Tunguska meteorite", which was allocated 77 main hypotheses.

In the Soviet scientific community for a long time dominated the view that the Tunguska catastrophe caused the fall of the lighter, fragile body than the asteroid - comet or its fragment. The nucleus of comets are composed of ice and dust, and it was explained that the crater was never able to find.

In 1975 Israeli seismologist Ari Ben-Menachem analyzed the propagation of seismic waves from the Tunguska meteorite and calculated that the energy of the explosion was 10-15 megatons of TNT - equivalent of thousands of atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima. Conducted by scientists and numerical modeling of the Tunguska explosion. So, in 1993, Christopher Chiba Research center named Ames (NASA) has calculated that the fallen asteroid had to have a few dozen (50-80) meters in diameter. In addition, at the end of XX century near the epicenter of the explosion samples were taken peatlands that are experiencing a small anomalies in the isotopes of iridium and hydrogen. In addition, organic residues trees that grew in the beginning of XX century, were found microparticles apparently of extraterrestrial origin.

Adventures of Italians in Siberia

Italian Geophysics started to examine the place of the alleged fall of the Tunguska meteorite in 1991, when the expedition was extracted from the remains of trees traces of microparticles. At the same time the Italians came across two little-known article of Soviet scientists (Kosheleva and Florensky)that had 30 years before arguing about whether small Cheko lake to be a crater from the impact of a meteorite. So the lake, located eight kilometers North-West of the proposed epicenter of the explosion, attracted the attention of scientists from the University of Bologna (Italy), who believed that it could be a ' black box ' disaster century ago. To study the Italians sent two more expeditions, the results of which they spoke in his latest work. The expedition 1999 was organized with the participation of Moscow state University and Tomsk state University (support was provided by the famous cosmonaut Georgy Grechko).

"We were warmly welcomed by your local authorities. Work in Siberia involves a lot of difficulties, but with the help of local residents all difficulties have been overcome. You have there some nice guys!", - said the head of the expedition, Luca Gasperini (Luca Gasperini), in an interview to "Parts of the world."

Testing began in the air. At first I had a few hours to shake the bales with Luggage and equipment in the cargo hold of the old spy plane Il-20. The most difficult was to get from Krasnoyarsk to the sacred lake. the Russian military has agreed to deliver the expedition to the lake on heavy transport helicopter Mi-26, however, marshy shores of the reservoir was not allowed to land. "cautiously circled over the dark water of the lake, a helicopter hovered above swampy shore, and we jumped in the pouring rain. We almost blew a hurricane created eight blades rotating wildly screw until we unloaded, finally, our heavy equipment and not left soaking wet and exhausted at the lake," recalled Gasperini.

At the bottom

after breaking camp, scientists began to study the shores of the water and the bottom of the lake. Their equipment consisted of acoustic emitters, magnetometers, device for taking samples from the lake bottom and underwater cameras. Using acoustic measurements it was found that the lake has unusual shape of the bottom and depth. It turned out that unlike thermokarst lakes taiga formed when filling surface of glaciers water, lake bottom checo is funnel-shaped with depth in the Central part of 50 meters. A similar form has a crater near the American city of Odessa, educated 25 thousand years ago when the impact of a meteorite.

Another important discovery was made in the course of collection deposits from the lake bottom. Scientists have found that silt layer containing the remains of aquatic plants, has a thickness of the order of one meter. Given that most of the year the lake is covered with ice and the basic share of sludge causes flowing into the lake river kimchu rivers, it has been estimated that a layer of silt is growing at a rate of about one centimeter a year. These circumstances are increasingly suggested the participants of the expedition on the idea that the lake is a young and its origin, most likely, is connected with the cosmic impact of a century ago. "Our team argued about all this in the evenings, whenYes we sat under an awning, delightful dining Russian porridge, plentifully seasoned with a dead mosquitoes," said Gasperini. to answer these questions, it took the Italian third expedition to Cheko lake, organized in 2009.

It's still there

During the third expedition researchers conducted two new studies. First, using seismic built profiles equal densities under the surface of the lake bottom. Locking reflected from different layers of soil sound pulses, the researchers came across a highly reflective layer (Reflector-T), which is located under the center of the lake at a depth of 10 meters and has a width of 70-80 meters.

In addition, using magnetometer installed on a rubber boat, Italians have measured the surface of the lake for anomalies magnetic field. The average magnetic field in the area presented Irkutsk and Novosibirsk geophysical Observatory. It turned out that the average value of the deviations in the area in 40 nanotesla within lake induction "dancing" within 500 nanotesla. The scientists noted that the distribution of the magnetic anomaly near the surface of the lake is not correlated with its morphology. In the opinion of the Italians, such anomaly is clearly indicates the finding under the lake bottom of the body other than the surrounding materials magnetic properties. Built with the help of seismic and magnetic data allowed geophysicists to ensure that at a depth of ten meters below the bottom of the lake with great probability is larger body, which represents the major part or fragment of a fallen meteorite. The small size of the magnetic anomaly, according to the researchers, indicates that the meteorite likely not iron, and stone.

"In 2007, we assumed that Cheko lake was formed as a result of extraterrestrial impact. Now we have collected evidence that the object (probably the impactor) lies under the centre of the lake" - rejoiced in an interview Gasperini.
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