«I saw a terrible wonder». Why no one could find the Tunguska meteorite

© Photo : courtesy of Eugene Searchcompany meteorites in the desert. Archive photo«I saw a terrible wonder». Why no one could find the Tunguska meteorite© Photo : courtesy of Yevgeniy Zakharchuk

One hundred and ten years ago in the area of the river Podkamennaya Tunguska meteorite fell. It is considered one of the main mysteries of the XX century, as expeditions failed to find even a tiny fragment of a hypothetical celestial body. As a result, many alternative versions of the «Tunguska phenomenon» — the explosion cloud of methane before the collision with Earth of a miniature black hole.

However, if the meteorite is found, he wouldn’t be the most expensive of the «heavenly stone». Although some are more expensive than diamond per gram collectors are willing to pay a thousand dollars. As looking for the Tunguska meteorite, who now buys and sells «broken stars» — in the material RIA Novosti.

Second sun

The thirtieth of June, 1908, about seven o’clock in the morning in the sky in the area of the river Podkamennaya Tunguska (Evenkia district, Krasnoyarsk region) there was a huge fireball. Then there was a massive explosion, air wave which circled the Earth and was registered by the meteorological observatories of the world. Across two thousand hectares were felled trees the few living in those places they saw in their homes and tents falling utensils, the blast knocked down animals. Brothers Chouchani and Chekaren, whose tent was about thirty kilometers from the epicenter of the explosion, then told the Soviet scientists: «I Think in the firmament appeared a second sun».

«Suddenly someone pushed so hard that I hit my head on chumby the pole and fell on hot coals in the hearth — recalled Kucanci. — We Chekurina got out of the tent, suddenly began to twitch and shake the earth, a strong wind hit our chum and threw it. I firmly pressed down with poles. Then I saw a terrible wonder: commercial shooting fall, the needles burning on them, smoke around, eyes hurt, and the body is hot. So that you can burn…»

A few days after that, the cities in the Northern hemisphere there was a strange atmospheric phenomenon — in the evening the sky was illuminated with lights, and the night was bright as day. In England after midnight was even able to read Newspapers, not including electricity.

Found them and the subsequent expedition, which every few years has gone into these wild places. This has spawned many alternative theories: for example, that the Tunguska explosion caused a giant fireball that in this place the earth’s surface faced a miniature black hole. Also it has been suggested that the Tunguska body was a comet, which consisted of cosmic dust and ice and melted while entering the atmosphere.


But most scientists believe that the meteorite is still lying somewhere in Siberia: just Leonid Kulik, and later other scientists, who was walking his route, are unable to calculate the trajectory of a celestial body. And looking for it in the wrong place.

«Many people think that the Tunguska meteorite must be a giant, since his fall has led to such destruction. In fact, most likely, this car was a whole swarm of asteroid fragments, each of which was not more than a meter in diameter, — explained the RIA Novosti President of the Russian society of meteoritics Dmitry Kazakov. To find such a facility in forests is extremely difficult. Besides, Leonid Kulik would be wrong to build a picture of the fall, as there was very little evidence. Found it in the forest not the landing place of the fragments, and only the consequences of the collision of air shock wave with the earth».

In order to visualize this process, just to throw in water a stone. The ripples disperse a few meters from the place where the fallen stone. Exactly the same happens with the meteor, only the blast diverges into tens of kilometers. For example, fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteorite fell about fifty kilometers from the city, but the residents of Chelyabinsk in houses shock wave smashed Windows.


The Tunguska meteorite, incidentally, is not the only one missing. Fallen in the night from 24 to 25 September 2002 in Irkutsk region of the Vitim bolide made a lot of noise: impulse, like from an earthquake felt the residents of settlements in the area about 20 thousand square kilometers. And although he was known even approximately the point of fall of the car, none of his fragments is not found.

«For 0,068 gram connoisseur paid $ 154»

But even if fallen 110 years ago a meteorite was found, he would not have become the most expensive. «The price on the collectible market depends on the quantity of the substance and its type, explains Cossacks. — Often arrive to us stone meteorites — chondrites. The price is low — small can be purchased for a few hundred rubles.»

Iron and iron-stone meteorites are valued a little more. But the most expensive among collectors — achondrite, the fragments of the asteroid Vesta. They are extremely small, accounting for 0.1 percent of the total fell to Earth meteorite substance. Because the price on the collector’s market comes to a hundred dollars per gram.

«The Tunguska meteorite, many would like to have for my collection. The demand greatly increases the cost. And yet if they find him and it turns out that it is an ordinary stone meteorite, the price is not the highest,» suggests Cossacks.

One of the most expensive copies are now in private collections — rare Martian meteorite «Black beauty» (Black Beauty). Found him in the Libyan desert Moroccan Bedouin. By the way, the nomadic population of this country have realized long ago what to look for meteorites are quite profitable. Whole families climb the dunes under the scorching sun, trying to find the «heavenly stones».

«The Libyan desert — a real Klondike for «hunters». There are very few natural stones, so nearly everyone was found a fragment likely to be a meteorite, — explains Dmitry Kazakov. — Going enthusiasts from around the world, including from Russia. But to compete with the local population, which is engaged in the search since 1998 difficult.»

However, the finder of «Black beauty» the Bedouin did not understand what a treasure he had in his hands. Meteorite he sold to the famous collector of American Jay Piatek. He sent the stone to study in NASA-came to the conclusion that the car is a very rare sample not previously studied Martian rocks. Not so long ago on eBay, sold the grit from «Black beauty». For 0,068 gram connoisseur paid $ 154.

Contrary to popular belief, a millionaire after the sale of the car the inhabitant of the Kaluga region did not. «We must not think that the search for meteorites is a very profitable business — frustrating Dmitry Kazakov. — Yes, sometimes you can be lucky, and you find the stone, which then sell for 100-200 thousand rubles. But often the «hunters» come from expeditions empty-handed. So these people are real enthusiasts, passionate».

One of the last cars came to us just a week ago. He fell on 21 June on the field between the towns of Ephraim, and the Yelets, Tula region. There already are several teams of «hunters». Together with them looking for the heavenly stone and the villagers. Not for profit. Many people believe that to find a meteorite — a great success. «I saw a terrible wonder». Why no one could find the Tunguska meteorite© RIA Novosti, Integrationmore and meteorites