1930 Curuçá River event

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On August 13, 1930, the area of Curuçá River near latitude 5° S and longitude 71.5° W experienced a meteoric air burst, also known as the Brazilian Tunguska event.[1][2]

Overview[edit]

The event was forgotten for more than 50 years, then was "revived" after the English astronomer M. E. Bailey found in the Vatican Library archives a 1931 issue of the L'Osservatore Romano which contained a dispatch from the Franciscan monk Fedele d'Alviano. D'Alviano visited the region five days after the event and interviewed people from the region; they told him they were frightened of what had happened. According to Bailey, the Curuçá event was one of the most important impact events of the 20th century. Investigating the data from the event, the meteor may have been related to the Perseid meteor shower, which streak the Earth's skies every August, peaking on the 12 of August.[3]

Inspired by Bailey's article and based on images from LANDSAT satellites, the Brazilian astrophysicist Ramiro de la Reza was able to identify an astrobleme measuring 1 km in diameter, localized to the southeast of the location of Argemiro, at 5° 11 S, 71° 38 W.[2]

The Brazilian government has not organized a qualified expedition to investigate the event[citation needed]. Only a religious missionary and a small TV-financed expedition have investigated the event.

In the first week of June 1997, de la Reza led an expedition organized by Rede Globo and co-financed by ABC-TV of Australia, to the region where the event occurred. The expected crater was found, but evidence is still lacking attesting that it came from a meteor impact in 1930. A record from the seismological observatory of San Calixto in La Paz and interpreted by A. Vega, from that same institution, indicated that the crater may have been created on the same date.[1] However, a Mexican group in 2011 contended that the crater and the seismic record may not be related to the event.[4]

The mass of the meteor has been estimated at between 1,000 and 25,000 tons.[3] Estimates for the energy released have varied from 9 kilotons,[4] 100 kilotons,[3] and 5 megatons.[1] Though most estimates place the energy at below 1 megaton.[3][4][5] Regardless, the event was significantly smaller than the Tunguska Event.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Reza, Ramiro de la. O evento do Curuçá: bólidos caem no Amazonas (The Curuçá Event: Bolides Fall in the Amazon) (Portuguese), Rio de Janeiro: National Observatory. Retrieved from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas website.
  2. ^ a b Reza, Ramiro de la; Martini, P. R.; Brichta, A.; Lins de Barros, H.; Serra, P.R.M. The Event Near The Curuçá River, presented at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 67th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting, August 2–6, 2004. Retrieved from Universities Space Research Association (USRA) website, Columbia, MD.
  3. ^ a b c d McFarland, John. The Day the Earth Trembled, Armagh, Northern Ireland: Armagh Observatory website, last revised on November 10, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c Corderoa, Guadalupe; Poveda, Arcadio (2011). "Curuça 1930: A probable mini-Tunguska?". Planetary and Space Science 59 (1): 10–16. doi:10.1016/j.pss.2010.10.012. 
  5. ^ Lienhard, John H. Meteorite at Curuçá, The Engines of Our Ingenuity, University of Houston with KUHF-FM Houston.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bailey, E.M. et al. 1995. The Observatory Vol. 115 (1128), pp. 250–253
  • Daily Herald. Menace of meteors like huge bombs from space. 6 Mar 1931, p. 9.
  • De la Reza, J. R. Rumble in the Jungle, Quantum programme of the ABC-TV, Australia, directed by Richard Smith, ABC-TV Science Unit, 1998.
  • Gehrels, T., Collisions with Comets and Asteroids. Scientific American, Vol. 274, No. 3., March, 1996, pp. 54–59.
  • Gorelli, R. The Rio Curuçá Event. Meteorite!, August 1995, p. 26.
  • Huyghe, P., Incident at Curuça. The Sciences, March/April, 1996, pp. 14–17.
  • Informazioni Fides, L'Osservatore Romano. The Fall of Three Bolides on the Amazonas. Strange and Frightening Phenomena. 1 March, p. 5, 1931. (English translation in Bailey et al. 1995.)
  • Kulik, L.A. The Brazilian twin of the Tunguska meteorite. Priroda i Ljudi, 13-14, p. 6, 1931.
  • Vasilyev, N. and G. Andreev. The Brazilian Twin of the Tunguska Meteorite: Myth or Reality? WGN, The Journal of the International Meteor Organization, 17, No.6, pp. 247–248, 1989.
  • Vega, A. J. Possible Evidencia Sismica del Evento "Tunguska" del 13 de Agosto de 1930, Ocurrido en Brasil. Revista Geofisica Instituto Panamericano de Geografia e Historia 44, Enero-Junio, pp. 201–211, 1996.

Coordinates: 4°40′S 71°28′W / 4.667°S 71.467°W / -4.667; -71.467