The Tunguska event has been estimated as being as small as a 3KT, and as large as a 30KT detonation. It did however flatten not just a few trees, but
80 MILLION of them, over a distance of over two thousand square kilometers.
It also produced a seismic shock of 5.0 on the richter scale. The combination of the extreme shaking it would cause, combined with its raw explosive
potential, would, without a doubt, destroy any city it happened to detonate over. Thats game over.
Its simply a measure of the potential energy in the meteor.
If there was no atmosphere and the meteor was able to strike at full speed in tact, thats the energy it would transfer to the earths surface.
We have a nice thick atmosphere however, and the meteor starts to break up miles above the earth to by the time it reaches the ground much of that
energy has been sucked out - if it even manages to reach the surface as many do not (shooting stars).
The energy of a big one traveling at thousands of miles per hour is substantial and thus comparable to nuclear weapons in terms of energy released in
its final few minute of life. Nothing else we have really comes close to that sort of energy release, you could say, "a meteor came to earth
yesterday with the energy equivalent of a billion mice running for a week" or somthing silly but thats just not a very good way to put it for people
to understand. Nuclear weapons release the most energy of anything people understand.
Though of course not dangerous like nuclear weapons since theres no radiation or EMP blast.
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