Possible nature of the explosion of the Tunguska meteorite and the breakup of the Comet Shoemaker-Levy
We consider the process of fracture of a solid celestial body with a certain strength entering a planetary atmosphere. Using an integral approach in fracture mechanics, we show that the process of fragmentation of a meteorite occurs in several stages and is completed when the maximum value of the aerodynamic drag is reached. The characteristic size of the fragments formed depends on the properties of the meteorite material. At the end of fragmentation, the stage of rapid deceleration of the fragments begins: “pumping” the energy of the meteorite into a shock wave. The proposed technique is illustrated using the examples of the interaction of the Tunguska meteorite with the Earth's atmosphere and the interaction of Comet Shoemaker—Levy with Jupiter's atmosphere.
KeywordsShock Wave Sandstone Celestial Body Cleavage Fracture Aerodynamic Drag
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