Voices from Russia

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Tunguska Event: Russian Scientists Debunk Meteorite Theory



Many thought that Lake Cheko was an impact crater of a large explosion that occurred near the Tunguska Riva in Siberia, detected hundreds of miles away. However, Russian scientists found that Lake Cheko is at least 280-years-old, which means that the lake dates back hundreds of years before the Tunguska event. The so-called Tunguska event is still a mystery after 108 years. It’s the largest impact event on Earth in recorded history.

On the morning of 30 June 1908, a large fireball crossed the sky above the taiga over the Stony Tunguska River in Krasnoyarsk Krai in Siberia. A large explosion followed, which one could hear even in distant villages 1,200 kilometres (745 miles) away, and visible even in Britain. It flattened 2,000 square kilometres (770 square miles) of forest. During the following days, observed noticed strange phenomena in the skies above Europe, such as silvery glowing clouds, colourful sunsets, and a strange luminescence in the night. Soon, Russian newspapers reported that it was a meteorite impact, whilst foreign newspapers speculated on various scenarios from a volcanic eruption to a UFO accident. However, the unpredictable political situation in Russia at that time prevented further investigations.

After 13 years, the first research expedition led by Russian mineralogist Leonid Kulik visited the Tunguska site. Despite exploring the entire area, they didn’t discover a single great crater or meteoritic material. To explain this fact Kulik suggested that some natural extraterrestrial solid exploded in the Earth’s atmosphere. Over time, scientists proposed many other theories, some quite unusual, to explain the apparent lack of craters and missing extraterrestrial matter. In 2007, a research team of the University of Bologna in Italia led by Luca Gasperini proposed that a small lake in the region, Lake Cheko, might have been the impact crater. They based their assumptions on the fact that the lake is unusually deep for the region and its shape looks like a crater. Moreover, there’s no record of the lake existing before 1908. Gasperini’s evidence is controversial, as seen in one published answer to this research.

In July 2016, a team of Russian researchers from Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk explored Lake Cheko again to estimate its real age. Before the 20th century, there were only poor maps of the region so the lake might have existed before 1908, they presumed. One can estimate the age of a lake by assessing its bottom sediments. Last year, the scientists obtained a core sample of bottom sediments from the deepest trench of Lake Cheko for geochemical and biochemical analysis. Recently, their colleagues from the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Siberian Branch of The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN) completed radioscopic analysis of the core samples.

The study showed that the deepest sample is about 280 years old, which means that the lake is probably even older because the researchers didn’t manage to get samples from the very bottom. Nevertheless, this proves that Lake Cheko is older than the Tunguska event and isn’t an impact crater of a supposed Tunguska meteorite impact. According to Denis Rogozin, a senior research worker at Krasnoyarsk Research Centre, Siberian Branch of the RAN, the results of the study will appear in a peer-reviewed scientific journal on 30 July 2017, the anniversary of the Tunguska event. The results of the Russian scientists’ research left academia without a clue; it meant that they might not find any evidence that the Tunguska event actually was a meteorite impact. It made the Tunguska event really mysterious again.

18 January 2017

Sputnik International



Tuesday, 1 October 2013

1 October 2013. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Asteroids are Coming More Frequently

00 Sergei Yolkin. Asteroids are Coming More Frequently. 2013

Asteroids are Coming More Frequently

Sergei Yolkin



An asteroid similar in size and parameters to the superbolide meteor that almost hit Chelyabinsk flew past the Earth, coming within 11,000 kilometres (6,836 miles) of its surface. Sergei Yolkin thought that was a rad occurrence.

30 September 2013

Sergei Yolkin



Sunday, 23 June 2013

Huge Chunk of Meteorite Located in Urals Lake

00 Meteorite Strike. Chelyabinsk. Russia. 16.02.13


On Friday, a scientist said that a huge fragment of meteorite that slammed into the Urals region in February was located on the bottom of Chebarkul Lake in Chelyabinsk Oblast. On 15 February, a meteorite landed with a massive boom that blew out windows and damaged thousands of buildings around the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, injuring 1,200 people in the area. The meteorite broke into approximately seven large fragments, and one of them is believed to have fallen into Chebarkul Lake, forming a hole in the ice about eight metres (26.25 feet) in diameter. In late March, a radar probe of the bottom of the lake revealed a crater possibly created by a fragment of a meteorite.

Viktor Grokhovsky, a senior researcher with Ural Federal University, was amongst the scientists who measured the magnetic field in the area where a meteorite chunk presumably fell. He said that the measurements indicated that an object, most likely a meteorite fragment about 60 centimetres (23 2/3 inches) in diameter and weighting approximately 300 kilos (661 lbs), is lying on the bottom of the Chebarkul Lake. He added that an eyewitness caught on camera how the meteorite exploded above the lake and apparently crashed through the ice, sending a massive jet of water into the air. He said, “[If] we have [a meteorite-like] substance, we have a hole in the ice, and a jet of water which was observed shortly after the explosion, what other proofs are needed? The [meteorite] fall, followed by a jet of water, was caught on camera”. The head of the Chebarkul urban area administration, Andrei Orlov, told journalists that sonar scans in the same area show an unidentified object measuring up to six metres (19.7 feet) in diameter at the bottom of the lake.

22 June 2013



Monday, 20 May 2013

20 May 2013. Sergei Yolkin’s World. A Monument “Not Made by Hands”

00 Sergei Yolkin. A Monument 'Not Made by Hands'. 2013

A Monument “Not Made by Hands”

Sergei Yolkin



The Russian title includes the word нерукотворному (nerukotvornomu: literally, “not made by hands”), which would bring to mind for any educated Russian (of whatever religious background) the word нерукотворные (nerukotvornye), which is the title of a famous Russian Orthodox icon type. The word “Chebarkul” on the base is the name of the locality where the meteorite fell. By the way, Governor Yurevich is the head of Makfa, a food processing company known mainly for pasta (Russian pasta? I shit you not… their website has some dynamite recipes).


Online voting to determine the five best ideas for a memorial to commemorate the fall of a meteorite in the Urals began on the official website of Chelyabinsk Oblast Governor Mikhail YurevichSergei Yolkin takes a sardonic look at it all.

20 May 2013

Sergei Yolkin



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