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an analysis of the physical, chemical, optical, and historical impacts of the 1908 tunguska meteor fallAn analysis is presented of the physical characteristics and photochemical aftereffects of the 1908 Tunguska explosive cometary meteor, whose physical manifestations are consistent with a five million ton object's entry into the earth's atmosphere at 40 km/sec. Aerodynamic calculations indicate that the shock waves emanating from the falling meteor could have generated up to 30 million tons of nitric oxide in the stratosphere and mesosphere. A fully interactive one-dimensional chemical-kinetics model of atmospheric trace constituents is used to estimate the photochemical consequences of such a large NO injection. The 35-45% hemispherical ozone depletion predicted by the model is in keeping with the 30 + or - 15% ozone variation reported for the first year after the Tunguska fall. Attention is also given to the optical anomalies which followed the event for indications of NO(x)-O(x) chemiluminescent emissions, NO2 solar absorption, and meteoric dust turbidity, along with possible climate changes due to the nearly one million tons of pulverized dust deposited in the mesosphere and stratosphere by the meteor.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Turco, R. P.
(R & D Associates Marina del Rey, CA, United States)
Toon, O. B.
(R and D Associates Marina Del Rey, CA, United States)
Park, C.
(R and D Associates Marina Del Rey, CA, United States)
Whitten, R. C.
(R and D Associates Marina Del Rey, CA, United States)
Pollack, J. B.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Noerdlinger, P.
(Los Alamos National Laboratory Los Alamos, NM, United States)
Date Acquired
August 10, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1982
Publication Information
Publication: Icarus
Volume: 50
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits