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Astronomical Association (BAA) meeting July 1st 1908. The minutes of this meeting are available online or I can provide them to those interested.
According to The Times of London, Friday July 3, 1908
At the monthly meeting held on Wednesday evening at Sion College, Victoria embankment,
Mr. G. J. Newbegin drew attention to the disturbed state of the solar atmosphere, showing a
drawing and giving a description of a very large prominence that he had observed and
measured in the morning of that day (July 1) and that showed unusual changes of form.
Allusions was made by Mr. E. W. Maunder and Mr. H. P. Hollis (both of the Royal Observatory)
to the long-lasting aurora of the previous evening."
Also in The Times of London, Saturday July 4, 1908
"The remarkably ruddy glows which have been seen on many nights lately have attracted
much attention and have been seen over an area as far as Berlin, There is considerable
difference of opinion as to their nature. Some hold that they are auroral; their colour is quite
consistent with this view, and there is also the fact that Professor Fowler of South
Kensington predicted auroral displays at this time from his observations, which showed
great disturbances in the sun’s prominences. There was a slight, but plainly marked
disturbance of the magnets on Tuesday night, and this materially strengthened the auroral
theory, as the two phenomena are very closely correlated. However, this was shaken on the
following night, when the glow was quite as strong, but the magnets were exceptionally
Also... “On the lightshow in the night sky at the beginning of July” (1908)
"Due to the brilliant lightshow, which was observed in many regions of Middle Europe on the
first nights of July of this year, and which made itself most noticeable on the nights of June
30th-July 1st and July 1st-2nd, the following communication was sent to the editors of
Astronomische Nachrichten [Astronomical News]:
-- From Herr Professor Doctor L. Weber, Kiel, Physical Institute of [Kiel] University, 11 July
"In the course of the last 14 days, the photographically recorded curves of magnetic
declination showed no disturbance of the sort that usually accompanies the Northern Lights.
But it should be noted that several times, and indeed all the time over several hours, there
were observed small, regular, uninterrupted vibrations [of the magnetic-declination curves] of
about a 2' amplitude and a 3m period, which could not be traced back to known causes (e.g.,
streetcar vibration). These as-yet unexplained disturbances took place:
• June 27-28 — 6:00 pm to 1:30 am
• June 28-29 — the same
• June 29-30 — 8:30 pm to 1:30 am
Coincidences? I think not.
These observations seem to me to be falsifying the single bolide hypothesis.
It was more likely a plasma/EM event that involved and was precipitated by the electrical environment of the solar system at that time.
These magnetic disturbances observed and recorded by Professor Weber occurred on the three
evenings preceding the event and evidently stopped at the same time as the TE occurred allowing
for the time difference between Germany and the location of the TE. The TE was unknown to the
world for many years after it happened. Many observations were made at the time of the event but
those that preceded the event should be of great interest. In particular, observations made by such
credible sources must be taken into account and explained by any hypothesis advanced to explain
I reached out to Kiel University for the documentation of these data. I have been informed by the
Department of Physics at Kiel University that unfortunately the original photo representations of the
magnetic recording instrument were destroyed in the Second World War.
These observations and data pretty much falsify the lone bolide hypothesis in my view. It is difficult to fathom
how an incoming lone bolide could have such an effect days in advance of its arrival.
If a model can be constructed to account for the observations that preceded the TE, such effects as
solar prominences, magnetic disturbances and perhaps others, could be used as warning signs and
help in the formation of a predictive tool that might warn us of some future catastrophe. It is worth
Any valid hypothesis must explain all data and observations. A lone bolide hypothesis therefore
seems very unlikely as it is very difficult to see how an approaching asteroid, even a large one, could
affect the magnetic field of the Earth in this way, 3 days in advance and starting and stopping at
roughly the same times for the 3 days. Couple that with the very unusual prominences on the sun as
observed by members of the British Astronomical Association and it seems clear that the lone bolide
hypothesis does not stand up to scrutiny.
Just a note on the 'massive natural gas escape and massive explosion' hypothesis... ditto. Falsified
in my view since it does not explain the solar activity and magnetic anomalies. Is it possible that
some gas escaped from under the taiga and exploded? Maybe. Not impossible. But unlikely to be
the prime cause of all that devastation in my (present) opinion. I am always ready to be persuaded
by data and evidence that contradicts my current mindset.
Now that we know what it was not, then what was it?
I am persuaded by the argument that it was a rare (at least in the current electrical environment of
the solar system) but natural group of phenomena and that their occurrence may be predictable, at
least at short range. The evidence suggests that the TE was most likely an electromagnetic / plasma
event involving the entire solar system.
Identifying a means to predict such an event might be the greatest contribution independent
researchers could make for humanity.
There is a great deal of 'after-the-fact' evidence, data and observations that can be gathered indeed
has been gathered and documented by diligent and dedicated researchers for almost a century. We
all owe them a debt of gratitude. However, after-the-fact evidence can always be subjected to
criticism, reinterpretation and doubt. That is why the debate rages on. If none of the prevailing
hypotheses are correct, then one group points to evidence that falsifies the other group's hypothesis.
The latter group presents evidence that in turn falsifies the first group's hypothesis, and the
argument rages on.
The reality is that after almost a century of argument between the pundits of the prevailing
hypotheses, it may be high time to look elsewhere. They are all correct in that the opposing views
have been falsified which means their own cherished hypothesis has also been falsified.
Encke's Comet was in our neighborhood at the time of the Tunguska Event. Some hypotheses
regarding a piece of that comet being responsible for the TE do not stand up to scrutiny. It is
conceivable however, that comet Encke was involved in that it had an effect on the electrical
environment of the solar system, which may have caused the solar effects observed, and which in
turn would have caused the magnetic disturbance recorded by Professor Weber. The end result
could have been a focusing or channeling of solar ejecta such as a coronal mass ejection (or some other energetic form) onto the Earth. The Earth, having its own electrical charge, may have responded to such an electrical
disturbance in some manner. The culmination of all these electric/plasma activities would have been
at Tunguska ground zero.
The epicenter of the Tunguska Event was directly above the central neck of a "paleovolcano" (Mt.
Stoikovich) Likely a high conductivity area on the earth. Again, no coincidence.... your thoughts?
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