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On This Day in Space! June 30, 1908: Asteroid explosion over Tunguska, Siberia

Space logo Space 6 days ago Hanneke Weitering
a close up of a dry grass field: The Tunguska explosion flattened some 500,000 acres of Siberian forest on June 30, 1908. This image is from the Leonid Kulik expedition in 1927. © Provided by Space The Tunguska explosion flattened some 500,000 acres of Siberian forest on June 30, 1908. This image is from the Leonid Kulik expedition in 1927.

On June 30, 1908, a giant fireball exploded over the forests of Tunguska in Siberia. The impact leveled hundreds of miles of forest, and the exact cause is a bit of a mystery.

Huge Russian Meteor Blast is Biggest Since 1908 | Infographic

At the time of the explosion, it was too difficult to reach this remote part of Siberia to look for clues about what might have happened. But finally in 1927, a scientist named Leonid Kulik led the first research expedition to investigate the scene. However, they didn't find a crater or any meteorite fragments, and the mystery remained unsolved.

1st Meteorites from 1908 Tunguska Explosion Possibly Found

Scientists now believe either a comet or an asteroid exploded in the atmosphere instead of striking Earth. This created an air burst with shock waves powerful enough to knock down a forest.

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a stack of flyers on a table © Provided by Live Science

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Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom and on Facebook

This article was adapted from a previous version published in All About Space Bookazine, a Future Ltd. publication. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

This article was adapted from a previous version published in All About Space Bookazine, a Future Ltd. publication. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.


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