- Series: Astronomers' Universe
- Hardcover: 318 pages
- Publisher: Copernicus; 2009 edition (August 31, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0387765735
- ISBN-13: 978-0387765730
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,488,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Tunguska Mystery (Astronomers' Universe) 2009th Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
"This is arguably the best book you will find on this subject - thorough, balanced, detailed, in-depth and very well-written on top of everything else. If you're interested in the Tunguska mystery, start here. My hat is off to Rubtsov for his scholarship and lucid writing style." Michael Schmicker, "Journal of Scientific Exploration"
From the Author
What is Tunguska? This is a region in Central Siberia, where there are several rivers with this word in their names (all tributaries of the Yenisey). But also this is a short designation of one of the most enigmatic events that happened in the 20th century: the flight and explosion of a cosmic body of unknown nature.
The high-altitude explosion that occurred in this region on the morning of June 30, 1908, devastated almost 940 square miles of the taiga, twice as large as the territory of New York City, flattening some 30 million trees. If the Tunguska space body had fallen some five hours later then St-Petersburg would have found itself in the seat of its explosion and the city would have been in ruins. Minutes after the explosion a magnetic storm began, like the geomagnetic disturbances following nuclear explosions in the atmosphere. This was detected by the Magnetographic and Meteorological Observatory in Irkutsk. The storm lasted five hours.
In the former USSR almost every reading person knew the meaning of the word "Tunguska". Not so in the West. Although any Internet search engine will immediately react to the keyword "Tunguska" offering about three million web pages, I regularly meet with western people who have no notion of the Tunguska event. But even those who have heard something about it know little about the subject. Just that a space body fell in Siberia and leveled many trees. They believe that "science has proved" that it was either a stony asteroid or the icy core of a comet. In fact, the picture is not so simple...
The primary problem with the conventional interpretation of the Tunguska event is that there is no trace of either asteroidal or cometary material at the site of the explosion. Usually, authors of Tunguska hypotheses pay careful attention to this fact and try to build a mechanism to explain it, with varying degrees of success. But there is also a serious problem that is generally overlooked: the need to take into consideration all empirical data and to reconstruct the Tunguska event before building any models of it. Such a reconstruction is essential since the consequences of this event are many and varied. Unfortunately, many theorists who try to solve this enigma are aware of only two facts: in 1908 something flew over Siberia and this "something" exploded. Actually there is far more to this story. I personally researched this subject for 40 years and this book presents the wealth of information collected in Russia during the past 100 years.
Those wishing to find out what did in fact happen in Central Siberia in 1908 have to consider the whole body of relevant data; only then will a realistic model of the phenomenon be seen through the apparent chaos of this body of information. And, as the famous detective Sherlock Holmes used to say, "the more bizarre and grotesque an incident is the more carefully it deserves to be examined, and the very point which appears to complicate a case is, when duly considered and scientifically handled, the one which is most likely to elucidate it".
During the last century, the public has often read that "The Great Enigma of the Tunguska Meteorite Has Been Solved!" But such statements were premature. Only now do we have the opportunity to solve the problem by harnessing the discovered facts and building a correct picture of the Tunguska event. No more guessing and flawed hypotheses - just objectivity, empiricism and taking into account all reliable data...
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 90%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The author does a fantastic job of walking us through decades of discovery and research. It's fascinating to watch, almost independently of Tunguska itself, how the scientific world changed around the unyielding enigma of the incident. From the early days of horseback travel and world wars, right up to the present day of computer technology and theoretical physics, researchers have been studying the Taiga looking for answers. It went from the personal quest of one or two scientists to a major multidisciplinary effort of volunteer specialists.
The author does not force any one "correct" solution or approach to the problem so much as he documents the approaches and attitudes of others, along with their results. He clearly has a higher understanding of much of the science involved (he has worked on the problem himself), but at no point does he lose the layman reader in complexities. He is a champion of good, honest, procedural science throughout. It's almost maddening how inconclusive the data turns out to be, but in truth, there is no other way to present it. I fully understand how so many great minds can become obsessed with finding the solution.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone of scientific curiosity. It's an absolutely fascinating natural mystery in and of itself, which may just leave you wanting to book a flight to Siberia to continue the investigation. Beyond that, it's a wonderful study of a major scientific community evolving and working together (and occasionally, in opposition).
Thank you to the author for opening up and documenting this great mystery for major new populations of the world.
In reading this book, one relizes the complexity of this event. It was not just a extraterrestrial object that "exploded" over Siberia. There were a chain of events leading up to and including the final above ground explosion. The author goes thru great lengths to give a play by play account of what transpired in the minds of various researchers in analyzing the evidence and eliminating various causes.
The authors writting style draws you into the story to such a degree that one is compelled to keep reading, never thinking to put the book down until one is finished.
This is a tour de force of investigative reporting and scientific insite. Anyone even remotely aware or interested in cosmic impacts, meteoritics or just a great scientific mystery will definetly not be dissappointed. Cited are numerous field reports and scientific studies for those interested and able to read them in their original Russian.
There are those of us who, for decades, have been heard or read about the strange explosion in Siberia in 1908 and what might have caused it. Theories abound. Those of us living in the west might have formed the notion that the mystery is solved. Well it's not. If you never read another book about the Tunguska event, you MUST read this one.
In my opinion this is, far and away, the best book I've encountered that explains how science actually operates. The author has taken considerable effort to explain the information gleaned from 80 years of research on the event at Tunguska and he carefully and with considerable skill lays out the information in a way that any lay person will understand. By the time you finish this book you will have been exposed to the "hard data" that has been acquired by numerous scientific expeditions to the site, you will understand the various theories that have been proposed and the strengths and weaknesses of those theories. Most importantly this is NOT a book about the authors pet theory; enough of those have been written. He deals with the data honestly and allows the reader to make up his own mind about any possible "final answers".
This book puts real science in the hands of lay people. Once the reader has both a good understanding of the scale of this event (for example, the explosion was the equivalent to 3000 of the Hiroshima fission devices) and some appreciation for the scientific evidence discovered at the site, he will likely come away with an understanding of what makes this event puzzling and awe inspiring.