Popigai astrobleme: what Soviet scientists found at the crash site of a meteorite

Nature 10/01/20 public domainПопигайская astrobleme: what Soviet scientists found in the place of the meteorite fall

If the Tunguska meteorite is a celestial object, well-known not only in our country but also abroad, then, for example, Popigai heard few even of our fellow citizens. Although this unknown celestial object was many times larger than Tunguska: he left in Siberia huge crater more than 100 kilometers in diameter. It is difficult to imagine the scale of the disaster that occurred about 35 million years ago.

Popigai – where is it?

Popigai is a small settlement in Siberia, on the border of Krasnoyarsk Krai and Yakutia. The crater itself is located 30 kilometers from it. Despite the fact that the collision happened long ago, it was only discovered in 1946. Hallmark place is a huge Deposit of diamonds. According to scientists, when confronted in the area (at the time) the fall was created by unique physical conditions: pressure of half a million atmospheres and the temperature is about 4,000 °C. the result was the transformation of graphite in the meteorite diamonds – the so-called impactites.

Riddles Popigai crater

the crater Itself on a place of accident are quite common and similar to several similar astroblem (craters left by the impact) located in other parts of the world – Mexico, USA, Canada. Most interesting is that all of these collisions occurred at about the same time, allowing, for example, Dmitry Badykova (book “Meteorite craters in the territory of Russia”) and a number of other astrophysicists and geologists to talk about the alleged mass bombing in the Oligocene period. This global catastrophe could be a reason for the so-called Eocene-Oligocene extinction, which led to a significant change in the earth’s flora and fauna.

Wealth Pobega

in Fairness it should be noted that it is still not about the meteorite, and about asterode. Judging by the size of the impact structure, this space alien for its size is several times larger than the Tunguska meteorite. Apparently, this was the cause of education in the fall of unique minerals. Because its abrasive abilities they two times higher than conventional diamonds. However, the use of Popigai impactites as decorations is impossible, as they are very dull and opaque. But as a technical they are ideal.

a Field of diamonds in the Popigai impact structure was discovered in 1971, but commercial production there has never been exercised. This is due to the incident at approximately the same time opening the way for the production of synthetic diamonds. On them and decided to bet on the Soviet industry. In addition, the role played and the total lack of infrastructure in the area of possible development. Therefore, all information about Popigai Deposit was classified.

But today the situation has changed radically, and production of industrial diamonds in Popigai can become profitable. Moreover, according to Gennady Shafranovskii in the book “the Diamond-bearing impactites of the Popigai astrobleme”, the proven reserves will last for a few thousand years of intensive production.

Yaroslav Gorbunov

© Russian Seven

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