This event is organized by the Department of History. Original event posted here.
The Mystery of the Siberian Explosion: An Environmental History of the Tunguska Event
Andy Bruno, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of History, Northern Illinois University
In 1908 the Tunguska explosion in Siberia knocked down an area of
forest larger than London. Most scientists believe that a fragment of an
asteroid or a comet caused the blast, but neither a crater nor
unmistakable remnants of a meteorite have ever been found. Over the last
century, the mysterious nature of the event has prompted a wide array
of speculation and investigation, including from science fiction writers
and voluntary researchers. Some have even explained Tunguska as a
nuclear explosion triggered by aliens. This presentation will recount
the intriguing history of the Tunguska event and the investigations into
it. Foregrounding the significance of mystery in environmental history,
it will show how efforts to understand the explosion have shaped the
treatment of the landscape, how uncertainty allowed alternative forms of
knowledge to enter scientific conversations, and how cosmic disasters
have influenced the past and might affect the future.
For more information, please contact Carlon Ison, Administrative Assistant in the Department of History - email@example.com.
Image description: A black and white image of a large area covered in downed trees.