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  • 5/1/2005

The Tunguska Fireball

Surendra Verma

On30 June 1908 a mysterious fireball exploded in the Siberian sky and flattened 2,000 square kilometers of the remoteTunguska forest. As no crater and no material from outer space were ever found, a meteorite could not have caused the Tunguska explosion. So what did?

This 'grand dame of science mysteries' soon turns 100 but continues to seduce scientists and charlatans alike, all hoping to explain what caused the explosion. The scientists' suspects include a comet, an asteroid, and a mini black hole, a rock of antimatter, a mirror matter asteroid, and a methane gas blast from below. X-files-type explanations include an alien spacecraft, a laser beam fired by extraterrestrials in an attempt to communicate with the earthlings, and an early experiment in nuclear physics which got out of hand. Numerous websites, conspiracy theories and sensational TV documentaries on the Fireball abound.

In a fast-moving and non-technical narrative The Tunguska Fireball discusses all theories and then analyses the evidence to point an accusing finger at a prime suspect.

Surendra Verma

is a journalist and author. A science features correspondent for the Age, Sun and Herald newspapers in Melbourne, Australia, he has published six books and is also an experienced editor and publisher.

Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution

Neil Degrasse Tyson, Donald W. Goldsmith


Origins explores cosmic science's stunning new insights into the formation and evolution of our universe--of the cosmos, of galaxies and galaxy clusters, of stars within galaxies, of planets that orbit those stars, and of different forms of life that take us back to the first three seconds and forward through three billion years of life on Earth to today's search for life on other planets. Drawing on the current cross-pollination of geology, biology and astrophysics, Origins explains the thrilling daily breakthroughs in our knowledge of the universe from dark energy to life on Mars to the mysteries of space and time. Distilling complex science in clear and lively prose, co-authors Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith conduct a galvanizing tour of the cosmos revealing what the universe has been up to while turning part of itself into us.

Evolving Cosmos

Govert Schilling


Mankind is a child of the cosmos. The atoms in our bodies originate in the interiors of other stars, and we cannot regard our existence separately from the evolution of the universe. Without the Big Bang and the formation of galaxies, planets and organic molecules, we simply would not have happened. In this fascinating book, science journalist Govert Schilling takes the reader on a whirlwind journey through time. He describes the evolution of the cosmos, from the beginning of space and time fourteen billion years ago, to the creation of the Earth and mankind. The book ends with a glance into the distant future of the universe, because the here and now are only fleeting moments in its biography. A combination of compelling text and breathtaking photographs provide an impressive vision of the place of man in the cosmos.
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