View Full Version : Miniature Tunguska event in my town yesterday
2010-Nov-03, 01:41 AM
At 00:40 AM last night there was a tremendous "bang" in my hometown of Kristiansand, Norway. I was watching TV when it happened. The house shook and I was sure the windows would break, but thankfully they didn't.
Initially I thought that it was local to my neighbourhood, maybe some kids playing with dynamite or similar. But today the local paper is full of reports of pictures falling off walls and windows breaking from all over, in a diameter of 25-30 km (15 miles). Seismographs in the area picked it up too.
The paper is full of speculation of what could have caused it, so far they have ruled out all the usual suspects (supersonic boom, military exercise, industrial accident etc).
My bet is that it was a meteor(ite?) exploding quite close to the ground. Unfortunately the weather was overcast at the time and as far as I understand no one has seen anything in the sky at the time.
What else could it be? Generating a pressure wave this big, shaking houses for miles and miles?
Overview map showing northern Europe with southern Norway marked:
Map of the local region:
(the orange circle is where people have heard and felt the "bang". I live on the north edge of the circle, and the pressure wave shook my house quite good, so it really should be bigger)
I read on wikipedia that there have been many accounts of "miniature Tunguska events", so it might not be that special, but I am posting this anyway.
It was a weird experience and the first interesting thing, astronomy-wise, that I've experienced personally.
Sorry for my bad english and the long rant, but I'm really excited :)
Any thoughts or insights would be appreciated.
2010-Nov-03, 02:40 AM
Sounds like a reasonable explanation. I'd be excited too.
2010-Nov-03, 06:07 AM
As far as Tunguska goes, there are two leading theories. One is that it was an icy comet or icy meteorite. This is the leading hypothesis. The reason being that a comet several meters across, possibly with a stony shell to allow it to penetrate the atmosphere and allow the interior to heat sufficiently, that was several meters across (maybe a piece of a larger comet still out there) could have exploded several kilometers above the ground. This would give ample reason why remains were never found on the ground, because the ice would have melted in the explosion and then be dispersed into the atmosphere. The resulting "blast" area was over 2,000 km and most of that area was leveled. If the comet were much smaller it would have melted in the atmosphere and if it were much bigger it could have been a minor extinction event. Thus, in order to have a mini-Tunguska event, there would most likely be some sort of "fallout" on the ground. Plus Tunguska happened in 1908, before we had real tracking systems. Now-a-days we can track anything entering the atmosphere larger than a few feet (and we regularly do, even amateurs photograph and track them). If something large enough to make it through and explode were to do so, we most likely would have been tracking it and you would have known about it. Also, most "airbursts" leave behind remains of a meteorite or some sort of evidence that it happened on the ground or eyewitness accounts of the explosion.
The other leading theory for Tunguska is a large natural gas leak that ignited. They haven't found anything to disprove this theory which is really the only reason it is still viable.
That being said, I am in the U.S. Air Force and have worked around aircraft everyday for the last 12 years. I have experienced sonic booms over my bases several times and they produce the exact same things you spoke of. Loud bang, shaking houses, rattling windows. Most of the time no one knows about it because its usually some pilot having a little fun. It is illegal in every country to have a fighter aircraft go supersonic over populated areas for this exact reason, it can cause damage and freak out the population. It wouldn't have been reported because they are "not supposed to do it". Because of the nature of supersonic flight, i.e. and aircraft going really fast, the aircraft generally move from one area to the next very quickly. This meaning yes, this would have been felt "far away" all at the relative same time because the aircraft will move quickly from city to city at supersonic speeds. Its not that the shock was have big.. its just that it was felt wherever the supersonic jet traveled.
2010-Nov-04, 09:56 AM
As far as Tunguska goes, ... The resulting "blast" area was over 2,000 km and most of that area was leveled.
2000 sq km, ie about 50km diameter. Just for clarity.
2010-Nov-05, 08:30 PM
Well we still don't know what it was. The airforce is denying that any of their jets was there at the time. Some astronomer has been quoted in the paper saying it probably was a meteorite, and a couple of witnesses says they saw a flash of light in the sky.
2010-Nov-05, 09:50 PM
My mistake, you are right Ivan... I meant to put 2,000 km2. 2,000 km lengthwise and we wouldn't be having this conversation.. lol...
My point was that an area of 2,000 km2 being leveled is pretty major. Even the bombing of Hiroshima only leveled about 1 square mile (Yes the fallout was a lot greater than that, but the actual physical damage was only a little over 1 square mile). To level 2,000 sq. kilometers these air bursts are very powerful. All of the mini-Tunguska's, as Arnold called them, left craters or pieces and even a few were tracked before they entered the atmosphere and recovered. If, as you say, it was heard and felt over a 15 km distance it would have left a good deal of evidence, a scar in the ground, a crater, or even pieces or the meteorite.
I apologize Arnold, but I can't seem to find any information about any event at all in Southern Norway over the last week. Can you link me to any info on this? I love to read articles like this because inevitably some of the interviewee's blame the government, aliens, new weapon testing, etc. Its fun to see all the new conspiracy theories.
2010-Nov-10, 04:31 AM
Sounds similar to the Lloydminster event where significant boom, rattle and flash reported by the farmers and townpeople.
2010-Nov-11, 02:05 PM
Thing is the Lloydminster event was only reported as a huge bright fireball. No one heard anything, felt anything, and they recovered the meteorites fairly quickly. It was a non-mystery. Everyone saw and knew exactly was it was from the beginning.
2010-Nov-12, 01:33 AM
Herkfixer, here are some links from the local paper Fedrelandsvennen
I think these are the only ones. No national newspapers seem to have picked up the story.
ps: "The seismograph in Bergen" refers to a small place nearby, not the city of Bergen which of course much too far away.
If you want crazy, read the comments section at the bottom of the pages.
2010-Nov-12, 02:36 PM
Unfortunately the weather was overcast at the time and as far as I understand no one has seen anything in the sky at the time.
Seems like it still would have lit up the clouds pretty good. Don't you have any outdoor security video cameras in Norway? This event (http://www.ksl.com/?sid=8714738&nid=148) over Utah was picked up on lots of videos. Turned night into day, as they say.
2010-Nov-12, 07:41 PM
Well, I was reading the articles and only one person said they "saw" the fireball, in the third article listed, and that's what led me to believe the testimony to be false. Everyone else said it was an overcast day and you couldn't see the sky. But one person said they saw a fireball that exploded many miles up.
The meteor "expert" quoted in the article said if it was a meteor (which the "expert" says it is the most likely scenario), then the reason everyone didn't see it was because these types explode in the upper atmosphere while its burning, then explodes. This doesn't add up. Either it was overcast and no one saw it, or it was clear and everyone should have seen it.
The person who claims to have seen it, couldn't have seen it explode, at a much higher altitude than the clouds. If she saw it explode below the clouds then there would be lots of damage and an obvious trail to where the pieces are. Unless my Norwegian translations are faulty... all three articles add that along with the sound, and shaking, they got numerous calls about a foul smell. The author of the article never pursues this and only focuses on the shaking and noise, hence the second article about the seismograph.
To me its obvious that sound, shaking and smell equals some sort of underground gas pocket exploding. This is a very common event. I would posit that a build up of natural gas or methane, or could even be some other gas, lit off some how and exploded. This would explain, sound, shaking and smell.
The meteor does not explain all the things reported, and jumping straight to meteor based on only one testimony of "seeing" a light in the sky, but ignoring multiple testimonies of a smell with the other reported signs, is bad journalism.
I do love the 2012 conspiracy nuts posting though. Lol.. too bad its 2 years too early.
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