The Tunguska event
In Press, Journal Pre-proof, Available online 12 May 2020
• Calculations have shown that comets can disintegrate at an altitude of ~10 km.
• Fragments of comet substance reached the Earth’s surface.
• The Tunguska object was most likely a comet.”
“The question about the nature of the object called the Tunguska meteorite, which exploded over the Siberian taiga on June 30, 1908, is the cornerstone in understanding the process of interaction of cosmic bodies with the Earth’s atmosphere. If we consider it to have been an asteroid, then we have to assume that an object with a mass >108 kg can completely evaporate in the atmosphere. If this object was a comet, then the rule obtained from experiments is valid: an asteroid with a mass >104–105 kg is crushed by the atmosphere and its fragments fall to the ground. The calculations indicate that a comet with an initial mass of 8·109 kg can reach an altitude of 10 km above the Earth’s surface and explode with an energy release of 10 megatons of TNT. Remains of the Tunguska body fragments were found on the ground.”