Little Asteroid, Big Fireball

tunguska2.jpgIs it wrong to find pictures of destruction beautiful? This is a frame from a supercomputer simulation of the Tunguska meteorite. It exploded over Siberia in 1908 and flattened miles of trees. The simulation suggests that the devastation could have been caused by a far smaller explosion than previously thought–3 to 5 megatons, instead of 10 to 20. And since there are many more asteroids in that smaller size range, the risks of a devastating impact may be greater than previously thought. Maybe not enough to cause mass extinctions, but to knock out a fair piece of real estate. Go here to read more and to watch a series of simulation movies.

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