At the Planetology Group and the University Radio at ELTE University,
we have tried to create a reconstruction of what might have been heard
in the morning of June 30, 1908, 100 years ago at near the Stony Tunguska
river in Siberia. The reconstruction was made using the eyewittnesses'
reports in russian newspapers and expeditions.
Note, that it probably did not sound like this, but this is an intelligent try of what people might have experienced. They all report four large explosions and fire.
The first phenomena may have been only radiation and the accompanying heat. This caused fire and wind, which were observed first. The schockwave front and its sound followed later - in 3 sec at 1 km, 30 sec at 10 km, roughly 3 mintutes at 60 km, where people were knocked down at the shockwave (the explosion was heard at 500 km) - meaning that the extensive radiation had enough time to set fire and start winds (due to thermal differences, the fast warming of the surface).
The series of phenomena as observed by eyewittnesses (source: N. V. Vasiliev, A. F. Kovalevsky, S. A. Razin, L. E. Epiktetova (1981). Eyewitness accounts of Tunguska (Crash). / Wikipedia)
- At that moment I became so hot that I couldn't bear it, as if my shirt was on fire; from the northern side, where the fire was, came strong heat. I wanted to tear off my shirt and throw it down, but then the sky shut closed, and a strong thump sounded (S. Semenov, as recorded by Leonid Kulik's expedition in 1930)
- There was noise beyond the hut, we could hear trees falling down. Chekaren and I got out of our sleeping bags and wanted to run out, but then the thunder struck. This was the first thunder. (Chuchan of Shanyagir tribe, as recorded by I.M.Suslov in 1926.
- At 7:43 the noise akin to a strong wind was heard. Immediately afterwards a horrific thump sounded,) (Krasnoyaretz newspaper, July 13, 1908)
- We heard whistling and felt strong wind. / 7:43 the noise akin to a strong wind. 'Can you hear all those birds flying overhead?'
- Immediately afterwards a horrific thump thunder struck. This was the first thunder.
- We could hear trees falling down. Many windows were shattered,
-The Earth began to move and rock,: earthquake which literally shook the buildings,
-Trees were falling, the branches were on fire,
- The first thump was followed by a second, loud thunderclap. This was the second thunder.
- and then a third. loud thunder came. This was the third thunder strike. Wind came again watched the fires
- The interval between the first and the third thumps were accompanied by an unusual underground rattle, similar to a railway upon which dozens of trains are traveling at the same time.
- Afterwards for 5 to 6 minutes an exact likeness of artillery fire was heard: 50 to 60 salvoes in short, equal intervals, which got progressively weaker.
- After 1.5 - 2 minutes after one of the "barrages" six more thumps were heard, like cannon firing, but individual, loud, and accompanied by tremors.
- Another flash, and it made another thunder. But the noise was less than before. This was the fourth strike, like normal thunder. "
The wvent was reported by local newspapers but later the territory was
forbidden until 1927. Note, that in 1908 Nicolas II. was the emperor of
Russia, in 1927 it was the Soviet Union.
(Created by H. Hargitai)