[meteorite-list] rlv (Lunar Tektite Theory holds no water)

From: meteorites_at_space.com <meteorites_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:43:29 2004
Message-ID: <20010707233525.7951.cpmta_at_c000.snv.cp.net>

On Sat, 07 July 2001, Tracy Latimer wrote:

> Tektite theories aside, I believe (from my faulty memory of high school
> physics) that water begins decomposing into hydrogen and oxygen at about
> 6500-7000 degreed Fahrenheit. This is why fire fighters have trouble
> with using water to extinguish type D fires; the heat generated is so
> intense that the water will break down and fuel the fire rather than put
> it out! Gotta use specialized, non-decomposing chemicals for that.
> Would the temperatures generated by meteorite impact and/or atmospheric
> entry be sufficient to cause the breakdown of water molecules? How hot
> DOES a bolide get during reentry?
> Tracy Latimer

Temperatures of 15,000 deg F are reported during the bolide phase. But I have been told that during a terminal blast or when a hypersonic projectile of significant mass strikes the surface of the Earth the trememdous kinetic energy release is more akin to that of a thermonuclear bombf, so I would imagine that the thermal release could get into the millions of degrees.

For example at Tunguska (terminal air burst of 10+ megatons at 20,000 meters) burned brances of trees with flash burns like what was later found at atomic bomb test sites. This I am told requires a flash that will produce surface temperatures on dark objects miles away that reach thousands of degrees.

So for all intents and purposes, a terminal airblast of a Tunguska type object is equivalent to that of a thermonuclear device. So, if water is dissociated to elemental hydrogen and oxygen at temperatures of 7,000 degrees F, then such will certainly be the case for bolides. This was my reasoning in proposing the notion that the paucity of water in tektites is the product of mega Tunguska event(s) as the source for the tektites that are found scattered over the Earth.

Steve Schoner

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Received on Sat 07 Jul 2001 07:35:25 PM PDT

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