Professor of physical chemistry from the Altay State University Vladislav Batenkov thinks that traces of the Tunguska meteorite should not have been searched for not directly under the meteorite’s course, but rather in the opposite direction.
Professor Batenkov graduated from the Chemistry Department of Tomsk State University; he currently deals with transistor electrochemistry. He has published several substantial monographs. Vladislav Batenkov is the creator of 14 inventions. The professor said in an interview to the newspaper Altayskaya Pravda: “The mystery of the Tunguska meteorite can be solved with the help of the physicochemical properties of water. The explanation is based upon water’s ability to decompose in oxygen and hydrogen at temperatures of over 1000 degrees centigrade. At the temperature of 5000 degrees centigrade, the decomposition occurs with detonation. When the temperature of the oxygen and hydrogen (the detonating mixture) drops below 1000 degrees centigrade, water is generated again together with the detonation.
Calculations have revealed that total amount of heat necessary to turn 1 kg of meteorite ice into decomposition products (warming of ice, ice melting, water heating, water evaporation, heating of the steam, and decomposition of water vapor) is about 30.000 kilojoule per one kilogram. The quantity of heat exuded at the deceleration of a one-kilogram meteorite to the zero speed will be equal to its initial kinetic energy. Let’s assume that the speed at which the meteorite hits the Earth is 20 km per second. Then, the quantity of heat exuded at the deceleration will be about 200.000 kilojoule per kilogram. This is seven times more than necessary for melting, heating, evaporation, and decomposition of water for the initial components.
However, not the whole quantity of heat will be spent on the water’s decomposition; a considerable quantity of heat will quickly disperse in the atmosphere because of the high difference between the temperatures and the meteorite’s high speed in the atmosphere. Obviously, only the front part of the meteorite has all the conditions necessary for an increase of the pressure and temperature enough for water decomposition.
So, the falling of the Tunguska meteorite was as follows. A huge chunk of ice entered the atmosphere at an acute angle, and then it started decelerating increasing in temperature. There is evidence proving that the meteorite’s glow was first noticed near the city of Vladivostok, and the meteorite’s deceleration was registered at 4,000 kilometers, near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River basin. The ice chunk increased in temperature along the way, especially the front of the meteorite. The meteorite started splitting into separate fragments. That is why several differently glowing objects could have been observed by the end of the deceleration. By that moment, the gases reached a maximum compression, and fragments of the meteorite increased in temperature to several thousand degrees. At the end of the motion, the clouds of water decomposition products (detonating gas) compressed as a result of the fragments’ deceleration and increase in temperature and detonated in the atmosphere after quick expansion and cooling. Forest fires and concentric forest falls were the consequences of the detonation. Dust particles melted and fell down in the form of small beads. It is likely that when the gas detonated, some tail-end parts of the ice lump were cast away in a different, south-east direction. Thus, the remains of the meteorite should have been searched for not along the meteorites course, but in the opposite direction.”
Professor Vladislav Batenkov can provide calculations proving his hypothesis. He stresses that the Tunguska meteorite mystery hasn’t been explained yet with water decomposition into components and explosion of detonating gas. According to the professor, it is difficult to determine the total scale of the meteorite’s impact upon the atmosphere of the Earth, because the initial mass of the meteorite and the speed at which it hit the planet are unknown. If we assume that the speed was 20 kilometers per second and consider “an awful explosion equal to two thousands Hiroshimas,” we can estimate the mass of the Tunguska meteorite. According to Batenkov’s calculations, the mass of the meteorite made up 40,000 tons.
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: https://www.pravda.ru/science/9892-meteorit/