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Title: Was the Tungus event due to a black hole

Abstract

It is suggested that a black hole of substellar mass could explain many of the mysteries associated with the Tunguska meteorite. This meteorite showed a fiery trail accompanied by thermal radiation and a blast waste that levelled forest over several hundred square km., but no crater or meteoritic material that can unambiguously be associated with the event has ever been found. It has been estimated that 10/sup 22/ to 10/sup 24/ ergs, equivalent to a 0.2 to 20 Mton nuclear explosion, would be needed to cause such destruction. ln the proposed explanation it is assumed that the black hole had the mass of a large asteroid (10/sup 20/ to 1O/sup 22/ g). Although the geometric radius of such an object is measured in Angstroms, its Newtonian gravitational field can be quite strong for some distance. The velocity of the black hole is assumed to be slightly greater than Earth escape velocity. Observational parameters for black; hole atmosphere interaction are shown graphically. A shock wave is set up, and the rate of energy deposition into the shock is calculated. If the black hole begins in interstellar space with zero velocity and falls freely to the Earth's orbit it would travel themore » last 30 km of the atmosphere in about 1 s and the total energy in the blast wave would be 10/sup 22/ to 10/sup 24/ ergs for masses in the range 10/sup 20/ to 10/sup 22/ g. The black hole vvould leave no crater or material residue, and the rigidity of the Earth rock would allow no underground shock wave. Because of its high velocity, and since it loses only a small fraction of its energy in passing through the Earth, the black hole should follow very nearly a straight line through the Eanth. lts point of exit from the Earth could provide a check for the hypothesis, since at the exit point there would be another air shock wave, an underwater shock wave, and disturbance of the sea surface. (UK)« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Texas, Austin
OSTI Identifier:
4416889
NSA Number:
NSA-29-001170
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nature (London), v. 245, no. 5420, pp. 88-89
Additional Journal Information:
Other Information: Orig. Receipt Date: 30-JUN-74; Bib. Info. Source: UK (United Kingdom (sent to DOE from))
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
N56300* -Physics (Astrophysics & Cosmology)-Quasi-stellar, Radio & X-Ray Sources; *BLACK HOLES- METEORITES; EARTH ATMOSPHERE; EARTH PLANET; SHOCK WAVES

Citation Formats

Jackson, IV, A A, and Ryan, Jr, M P. Was the Tungus event due to a black hole. United Kingdom: N. p., 1973. Web. doi:10.1038/245088a0.
Jackson, IV, A A, & Ryan, Jr, M P. Was the Tungus event due to a black hole. United Kingdom. doi:10.1038/245088a0.
Jackson, IV, A A, and Ryan, Jr, M P. Fri . "Was the Tungus event due to a black hole". United Kingdom. doi:10.1038/245088a0.
@article{osti_4416889,
title = {Was the Tungus event due to a black hole},
author = {Jackson, IV, A A and Ryan, Jr, M P},
abstractNote = {It is suggested that a black hole of substellar mass could explain many of the mysteries associated with the Tunguska meteorite. This meteorite showed a fiery trail accompanied by thermal radiation and a blast waste that levelled forest over several hundred square km., but no crater or meteoritic material that can unambiguously be associated with the event has ever been found. It has been estimated that 10/sup 22/ to 10/sup 24/ ergs, equivalent to a 0.2 to 20 Mton nuclear explosion, would be needed to cause such destruction. ln the proposed explanation it is assumed that the black hole had the mass of a large asteroid (10/sup 20/ to 1O/sup 22/ g). Although the geometric radius of such an object is measured in Angstroms, its Newtonian gravitational field can be quite strong for some distance. The velocity of the black hole is assumed to be slightly greater than Earth escape velocity. Observational parameters for black; hole atmosphere interaction are shown graphically. A shock wave is set up, and the rate of energy deposition into the shock is calculated. If the black hole begins in interstellar space with zero velocity and falls freely to the Earth's orbit it would travel the last 30 km of the atmosphere in about 1 s and the total energy in the blast wave would be 10/sup 22/ to 10/sup 24/ ergs for masses in the range 10/sup 20/ to 10/sup 22/ g. The black hole vvould leave no crater or material residue, and the rigidity of the Earth rock would allow no underground shock wave. Because of its high velocity, and since it loses only a small fraction of its energy in passing through the Earth, the black hole should follow very nearly a straight line through the Eanth. lts point of exit from the Earth could provide a check for the hypothesis, since at the exit point there would be another air shock wave, an underwater shock wave, and disturbance of the sea surface. (UK)},
doi = {10.1038/245088a0},
journal = {Nature (London), v. 245, no. 5420, pp. 88-89},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {1973},
month = {9}
}