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Russ
2003-Feb-24, 04:58 PM
Sunday on the Discovery Channel they had a show about the Tunguska incident. They discussed the various possibilities about what could have caused it. While they discussed the possibility that it was an astroid, they showed a graphic of high density astroids ala, Star Wars V, TESB. They were clearly alluding to the Solar System's astroid belt between Mars & Jupiter so that made it even more of an indescresion.

Ya'd tink dayd know betta! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

SKY
2003-Feb-24, 05:33 PM
I remember I did a report on that in high school. That was over 10 years ago, so I don't remember much of the report, but I remember the kookiest explanation that I heard for the event was that an alien space craft (nuclear powered) crashed into the region. One of the books I used for research even went so far as to say that the alien pilot spared earthlings lives by picking a isolated spot on the planet to crash /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif.

Not kidding, they actually believed this.

Russ
2003-Feb-24, 10:33 PM
On 2003-02-24 12:33, SKY wrote:
I remember I did a report on that in high school. That was over 10 years ago, so I don't remember much of the report, but I remember the kookiest explanation that I heard for the event was that an alien space craft (nuclear powered) crashed into the region. One of the books I used for research even went so far as to say that the alien pilot spared earthlings lives by picking a isolated spot on the planet to crash /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif.

Not kidding, they actually believed this.




This show mentioned nothing of aliens, much to their credit. At the end, they did allude to the possibility of antimater or a possible black hole. I'm not sure how it could have been a black hole and still have us conversing with each other. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

SKY
2003-Feb-24, 10:47 PM
On 2003-02-24 17:33, Russ wrote:


On 2003-02-24 12:33, SKY wrote:
I remember I did a report on that in high school. That was over 10 years ago, so I don't remember much of the report, but I remember the kookiest explanation that I heard for the event was that an alien space craft (nuclear powered) crashed into the region. One of the books I used for research even went so far as to say that the alien pilot spared earthlings lives by picking a isolated spot on the planet to crash /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif.

Not kidding, they actually believed this.




This show mentioned nothing of aliens, much to their credit. At the end, they did allude to the possibility of antimater or a possible black hole. I'm not sure how it could have been a black hole and still have us conversing with each other. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif



Yes, Antimater and a Black Hole were also two of the theories that were written about. I remember them saying a Black Hole was impossible due to it's density and speed would have punched a hole right through the earth. I wish I could remember the name of the book.


PS, I should also clarify that the end conclusion to my report was that a comet had exploded a few miles above the surface. It was the only reasonable theory at the time. I don't know if any new theories have surfaced or not, I haven't followed this event much since. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


[edited to add last part]

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SKY on 2003-02-24 18:03 ]</font>

Colt
2003-Feb-25, 12:28 AM
I can see how it might have been anti-matter, but a black hole? No. -Colt

Hale_Bopp
2003-Feb-25, 03:37 AM
The black hole idea arose from the idea of "mini" black holes. These would be black holes that theoretically could have formed in conditions very near the big bang and have a Schwarzshild radius on the order of meters. I think the theory of these has been discredited.

Even if they did form, they would have long ago evaporated due to Hawking radiation. The other problem is that we should have seen it come out the other side of the Earth as well, which we didn't.

Long story short : viewed as pretty low on the list of culprits now.

Rob

David Hall
2003-Feb-25, 05:30 AM
Something about this thread reminds me of an essay I once read an SF journal, I think it was Amazing, where some guy theorized that the Hawaiian islands were created because they sit on top of a crashed antimatter powered spaceship. His argument was that the "hot-spot" that formed the islands needed some kind of power source, and antimatter fit the bill nicely. So he decided that a ship with a large AM "gas tank" crashed there millions of years ago and got buried deep in the Earth's crust, relasing it's antimatter fast enough to melt the surrounding rock and forming the islands.

As far as I could tell, this wasn't meant to be fiction.

Anyway, back on track, did they mention the Tesla death-ray theory in the show?

Celestial Mechanic
2003-Feb-25, 05:33 AM
On 2003-02-24 12:33, SKY wrote:
[Snip!] One of the books I used for research even went so far as to say that the alien pilot spared earthlings' lives by picking a isolated spot on the planet to crash.
A spot above an ocean would have been far better.

Something that has always bothered me about Tunguska is that there does not seem to have been any effort to look into this before Viktor Kulik's expedition in 1927. Given the human race's unquenchable curiosity, I'm surprised that nobody went anywhere near there for twenty years? I know it's not the most accessible place in the world, but at a time when the poles were being explored nobody looked at this?

Maybe Agorabasta would know of any pre-Kulik expeditions.

kilopi
2003-Feb-25, 11:28 AM
There were a couple of wars, and a revolution going on.

I'm intrigued by the possibility of Tesla being responsible for Tunguska (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=d0b45aa50f15f035e3e95740120ce293&threadid=157850). Now, there's a crazy idea.

Celestial Mechanic
2003-Feb-25, 06:42 PM
On 2003-02-25 06:28, kilopi wrote:
There were a couple of wars, and a revolution going on.
Not in 1908. Most recent war was the Russo-Japanese war in 1904-5, there was a revolutionary uprising in 1905 as a result. Nothing else war/revolution-wise until 1914, of course.

tracer
2003-Feb-26, 12:51 AM
On 2003-02-25 00:33, Celestial Mechanic wrote:
Something that has always bothered me about Tunguska is that there does not seem to have been any effort to look into this before Viktor Kulik's expedition in 1927. Given the human race's unquenchable curiosity, I'm surprised that nobody went anywhere near there for twenty years? I know it's not the most accessible place in the world, but at a time when the poles were being explored nobody looked at this?
The expeditions to the North and South Poles were fraught with peril at every turn. The second expedition to reach the South Pole starved to death, and an earlier failed attempt to reach the South Pole trapped a shipful of men in ice and then crushed the ship -- they all survived, but just barely.

With risks that high, it's no wonder that the people of the time considered remote, Siberian Tunguska to be low on their exploratory priority list.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: tracer on 2003-02-25 19:51 ]</font>

kilopi
2003-Feb-26, 01:19 PM
On 2003-02-25 13:42, Celestial Mechanic wrote:
Not in 1908. Most recent war was the Russo-Japanese war in 1904-5, there was a revolutionary uprising in 1905 as a result. Nothing else war/revolution-wise until 1914, of course.
I was referring to the twenty year period 1908-1927 that you mentioned.

Of course, there were people there at the time, just not official outside investigations. Even back then, official investigations took time--and there were those war preparations to take care of.

Russ
2003-Feb-27, 08:48 PM
I think at least one reason the main explorers stayed away was because the local tribal types decided is was the work of one of their gods and tried to kill anybody who went in there. At least that's what the show said.

Chip
2003-Feb-28, 09:48 AM
On 2003-02-27 15:48, Russ wrote:
I think at least one reason the main explorers stayed away was because the local tribal types decided is was the work of one of their gods and tried to kill anybody who went in there. At least that's what the show said.

PBS did a program on Tunguska years ago. (It might have been on the "Nova" program.) Russian scientists visited it several times, and even in the films as recent as the 1980s, it was a very difficult, cold, wet, and remote area, full of big hungry mosquitos. (Like the Alaskan variety.) I remember also that they still found evidence of fallen trees. The Russian theory was that a comet or very small asteroid coming in at an unseen angle, exploded above the tree tops.

kucharek
2003-Feb-28, 10:09 AM
On 2003-02-24 12:33, SKY wrote:
I remember I did a report on that in high school. That was over 10 years ago, so I don't remember much of the report, but I remember the kookiest explanation that I heard for the event was that an alien space craft (nuclear powered) crashed into the region.


One of Stanislaw Lem's early novels (The Astronauts) http://www.cyberiad.info/english/dziela/czlowiek/czlowiek.htm is using this as a plot device. A spaceship from Venus crashed. A hundred years later, a data storage device is undug and deciphered. Nice story, you just have to ignore what we know today about Venus. It was made into a movie in 1959. http://us.imdb.com/Details?0053250

Harald

tracer
2003-Feb-28, 07:42 PM
This week's installment of Cecil Adams's The Straight Dope is about the Tunguska event.

You can read it at http://www.straightdope.com/columns/030228.html.

Russ
2003-Mar-03, 07:12 PM
On 2003-02-28 04:48, Chip wrote:
PBS did a program on Tunguska years ago. (It might have been on the "Nova" program.) Russian scientists visited it several times, and even in the films as recent as the 1980s, it was a very difficult, cold, wet, and remote area, full of big hungry mosquitos. (Like the Alaskan variety.) I remember also that they still found evidence of fallen trees. The Russian theory was that a comet or very small asteroid coming in at an unseen angle, exploded above the tree tops.


This is true also. Accessability was a major problem. No roads, so horses and horse drawn carts were the only transportation. There were some rivers but they would only support small rafts. In this show, they have old movies of the transport problem. To address the pest problems they showed people in pith helmets with heavy mosquito netting, thick gloves and clothing. It looked real unpleasant.

calliarcale
2003-Mar-03, 10:38 PM
I have a relative who works at a diamond mine up in the Northwest Territories. About as middle-of-nowhere as you can get; they're hundreds of miles from any cities of any kind. During the summer, they used to go prospecting (because that's the only time there's enough sunlight) and then in the winter they'd drill in areas that the prospectors had identified. (You can't drill permafrost in the summer; the top six feet thaw and basically turn into slushy mud that just fills the hole back up again. In the winter, you just drill through the icy ground.) On one of the early expeditions, one of the team members got careless and went out without his mosquito netting. He almost had to be evacuated; he was completely covered with insect bites on every exposed part of his body. His face and hands swelled up from the anticoagulant that the mosquitos had injected. He almost went into a systemic allergic reaction, but fortunately he was able to pull through. The mosquitos are downright *vicious* up there. I've no idea how the local survive it; maybe they just develop a tolerance to mosquito spit.

Russ
2003-Mar-04, 06:17 PM
On 2003-03-03 17:38, calliarcale wrote:
The mosquitos are downright *vicious* up there. I've no idea how the local survive it; maybe they just develop a tolerance to mosquito spit.


I have heard about, but not seen or used, a local plant that exudes a mosquito repellant sap when crushed. The "locals" figured it out when they saw caribou rolling on the ground in this stuff.

This may be bad info as I got it from a roughneck (person who works on oil drilling rigs) up on the north slope in Alaska. They are notorious for "pulling your leg" so to speak. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif