Posted 13 сентября, 07:36
Published 13 сентября, 07:36
Modified 14 сентября, 15:51
Updated 14 сентября, 15:51
Andrey Zlobin, Ph.D., expert of the Center for Planetary Protection
In a previous article in Novye Izvestia, I gave a forecast of large fireballs that may take place on our planet every 11 years, explained the reasons for such strict periodicity. He showed that the probability of such events is about 50%, which is comparable to tossing a coin «heads or tails». The nearest dangerous period will take place approximately in 2024-2027, when the number of spots on the surface of the Sun from meteor impacts will reach another maximum. But this is not the worst news. Not everyone knows that our planet in ancient times was already subjected to a comet shower, when hundreds of thousands (!) of «Tunguska meteorites» exploded in America at once. Along the east coast of the United States, a wide strip of shallow craters of strict elliptical shape stretches for more than a thousand kilometers, over the mystery of which scientists have been puzzling for a long time. According to some estimates, the total number of these craters reaches 500 thousand, and they are clearly visible during remote sensing of the earth's surface by a special LIDAR method. The entire complex of craters was named Carolina Bays after the corresponding state. Some time ago, researchers were still building hypotheses about the physical nature of the Carolina Base craters. Today, the cometary nature of these formations is no longer in doubt.
A turn in the minds of scientists occurred in 2007, when the author of these lines published in the Proceedings of the prestigious international conference «2007 Planetary Defense Conference» an article with his results of three-dimensional mathematical modeling of the Tunguska space disaster of 1908. The results were obtained within the framework of the Youth Public Laboratory of Atmospheric Research of the Central Institute of Aviation Engine Engineering CIAM. The article for the first time gave a qualified analysis of the structure of the sawmill and the burn of the forest at the site of the Tunguska fall, professionally performed from the standpoint of supersonic aerodynamics. The cometary nature of the Tunguska disaster has become obvious. At the same time, it became clear that comets pose a much greater danger to humanity than asteroids. Additional dangerous factors of comet impact impact were identified and the need for training of the population in relation to such emergencies was noted.
First, comets are less predictable. They can suddenly appear from the far depths of space and have high speed. Humanity has little time to react. Secondly, comets, as a rule, have elongated orbits and, as they approach the Sun, their nuclei form so-called «jets» capable of noticeably changing the trajectory of a celestial body. Consequently, it is very difficult to predict in advance whether a comet will hit the Earth or pass by. Thirdly, cometary nuclei can easily disintegrate into many fragments, and instead of one cosmic body, a whole «comet shower» can fall on the planet. Fourth, comet ice, which mainly consists of comet nuclei, has a low density. This leads to a large lateral scattering of fragments when moving in the atmosphere, which increases the affected area. Fifthly, when a comet collapses, large areal gas regions with high temperatures arise in the atmosphere, capable of causing large-scale fires of complex shape. Finally, comet ice may contain huge masses of biologically active matter, perhaps not harmless at all.
Regular comet bombardments of the Sun with a periodicity of 11 years make us take the possibility of a sudden comet shower seriously. Having missed our star, a shower of icy cosmic bodies can hit the Earth. Let's add to this that if a comet is approaching from the direction of the Sun, then it is extremely difficult to detect it. This is confirmed by the Tunguska celestial iceberg, which no one noticed until it entered the Earth's atmosphere. And, again, it is not superfluous to recall the megaton power of the Tunguska explosion. This is enough to completely wipe out any capital of the world with a multi-million population. And a comet shower of hundreds of thousands of «Tunguska meteorites» humanity is unlikely to survive at all. In any case, if he treats the comet-asteroid danger as carelessly. Now the next 25th cycle of Solar activity is being formed and its beginning is more intense than the previous one. Meanwhile, bright cars have already been recorded this year, for example, Krasnoyarsk (January), Yekaterinburg (August), Irkutsk (August), etc. So you need to watch the sky in the coming years with all your eyes. There must come some day an understanding on which the future of the entire human civilization hangs by a thin thread. A certain amount of optimism is given by the construction of the largest solar telescope in Eurasia near Lake Baikal. I wouldn 't be late…