SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Iron and nickel pellets from the Tunguska impact. In 1908 a large astronomical body exploded above Tunguska, Siberia, Russia. The energy released was equivalent to around 1000 times that of the Hiroshima A-bomb. Although there are many theories as to the type of body involved, one of the more credible, propounded by British astronomer Francis Whipple, is that it was a comet which exploded around 7.5 kilometres above the surface of the Earth. This mineral sample was taken from the site, to be studied, to help scientists understand the nature of the explosion and the composition of the exploding object.
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