June 30, 1908 In a remote part of Russia, a fireball was seen streaking across the daytime sky. Within moments, something exploded in the atmosphere above Siberia’s Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia.
This event – now widely known as the Tunguska event – is believed to have been caused by an incoming asteroid (or comet), which never actually struck Earth but instead exploded in the atmosphere, causing what is known as an air burst, three to six miles (5–10 kilometers) above Earth’s surface.
The explosion released enough energy to kill reindeer and flatten trees for many kilometers around the blast site. But no crater was ever found.