April 12, 2024

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A visual tour of the largest impact craters, the scars left by meteorites on Earth

A visual tour of the largest impact craters, the scars left by meteorites on Earth

Few scars can be found on the “face” of the earth It can be compared to Friedfort. A few years ago – 2 billion, to be exact – a huge asteroid five to ten kilometers in diameter fell in the southwest of what we now know as Johannesburg, in South Africa, at diabolical speed. The collision was so brutal Remove a large amount of rocks. The result: a massive dent, once the structure is finished and stabilized, experts estimate It was between 180 and 300 km wide.

Its colossal dimensions make Vredefort The largest impact crater on Earth Known so far, but it is not the only well that was opened by a meteorite when it collided with our planet. All over the world, the Planetary and Space Science Center (PASSC), from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, discovered a good handful. In its online database, [Earth Impact Database](http://www.passc.net/EarthImpactDatabase/New website_05-2018/Index.html) (EID), cita 190 confirmed.

growing catalog

Researchers continue to search for data Understand them better and locate new holes. ten years ago European geologists in Greenland A crater with a diameter of about one hundred kilometers was caused by an asteroid 3000 million years ago and in 2019 another team from Oxford Common Evidence A similar find – 20 kilometers long – in the United Kingdom.

the question is, What is the effect of craters or stars? NASA defines them as the result of the impact of an object — a steroid or a meteorite, for example — on another, larger solid surface, such as a planet or moon. This phenomenon, of course, is by no means exclusive to Earth. Moreover, after decades of space exploration, astronomers now know that they played a major role in the geological processes of the early solar system.

The oldest lunar surface, for example, is full Sewage resulting from intense “bombing” Suffered for billions of years –From 4.6 to about 3.9, to be exact-. Moreover, even the birth of our satellite could be the result of the monstrous impact of Thea, a stellar body, the size of Mars, against the primordial Earth.

Here on Earth, Meteors played too An essential role in the primitive atmosphere and hydrosphere Life has defined itself on this planet. The mass extinction event recorded 65 million years ago, the one that engulfed the dinosaurs, is linked without going further to the effects of the massive impact on what we know today as Mexico. As our reminder Chicxulub hole, 180 km in diameter and about 20 km deep, is located mainly under water off the Yucatan Peninsula.

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Neither asteroids nor craters, however, are an exclusive phenomenon of the past. And to show a button: On March 17, 2013, astronomers noticed a flash on the moon. When NASA took pictures with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and compared them to those it took a year ago at the same point, it found that it was there on the satellite’s surface. A new “sprout” impact hole Its diameter is about 18 meters. The Mars Color Photographer (MARCI) was also captured A new crater was recorded on the Red Planet in March 2012.

world map 2

Map of confirmed impact craters on the ground. Photo: Passc

The Earth itself is bombarded every day by more than a hundred tons of dust and sand-sized particles from space, and about once a year –Requires the US space agencyA car-sized asteroid hits the atmosphere, disintegrates into an amazing ball of fire that experts call “polyide”.

If the focus is zoomed in a bit more, things get complicated: About once every 5000 years An object the size of a football field hits the ground, causing more damage. For a slightly more accurate view of how exposed the planet is Comes with this NASA blueprint vision, made from data collected between 1994 and 2013 from small asteroids that struck Earth’s atmosphere. The image collects the location of the objects hitting between 1 and 20 meters and identifies them based on whether they fell during the day or at night.

asteroid polyide events

Although meteorological and geological factors were responsible for Survey of most of the archaeological pits, the surface of our planet continues to offer different kinds of amazing watercourses. for example, On earth, scholars diverge Among the simple structures, up to four kilometers in diameter, with raised edges surrounding a bowl-shaped depression; and complex structures, 4 kilometers or more in diameter.

In addition to being valuable sources of data for scientists, some of them have over the years become tourist destinations as well. Almost everything that is known has been recorded, after all, since the middle of the last century. next one, We review some of the most surprising things.

Baringer Crater

meteorite meteorite crater

Situado in Arizona (EE. UU.), Also known as Meteor Crater It was formed 50,000 years ago as a result of the impact of a meteorite that could have been about 50 meters wide and traveled at an amazing speed of 45,000 kilometers per hour. It stands out, above all, for being the first that scientists identified as a consequence of extraterrestrial influence. Dimensions: approx It is 1.2 kilometers in diameter and 170 meters deep.

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Fredfort Crater

Vredefort Oli 2018178 Front

the biggest a favour. It was formed when an asteroid hit Earth about two billion years ago in an area we now know as South Africa. When the crater formed, its diameter reached 300 kilometers. It is also distinguished by its age, although it falls short when compared to 2.4 billion years ago Suavjärvi Crater, In Russia,

Subdury Basin

Sudbury Wanapitei Worldwind

At first glance, it may not be as easy to see as the one in Friedfort, but the Subdori Basin in Canada The result of an impact impact that was recorded 1.8 billion years agoIt is distinguished by its age and dimensions. The original crater is believed to have been at least 200 kilometers wide. However, over time, as can be seen in the photo, was eroding.

Lunar Crater

Lunarcrater

It is located in India, more specifically in the Deccan Plateau, A huge plain of volcanic basalt rocks Left over from eruptions recorded 65 million years ago, Lunar crater stands out for its history. After CJE officer Alexander identified it in 1823, experts believed it was a crater. Today, however, the theory is quite different.: It is believed to be the result of a meteorite impact between 35,000 and 50,000 years ago. It has a diameter of about 1.8 kilometers and a depth of about 150 meters.

Pengoalite Crater

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The Pingualuit Crater north of Quebec, Canada, was first identified in 1943, During a US Army Air Force flight. However, geologists had to wait until 1950 to examine it and confirm that it was a crater caused by a meteorite about 1.4 million years ago. Thanks to their identification, experts have identified 20 other impact buildings in the east of the country. It has a diameter of 3.4 km and includes a lake with a depth of 267 m..

Cali Critters

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On the island of Saaremaa, about 20 km northwest of Kingespp (Estonia), in an area of ​​one square kilometer, there is Known as digging Kali. The largest is about 110 meters in diameter And a depth of about 20 m. As for the rest, they are much smaller, ranging in diameter from 12 to 44 meters. Its history is still up for debate, but in general It lies at a crossroads between 2420 and 8400 years ago.

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Montoraki Crater

Montoraki

It is located about 200 km from the city of Antofagasta, South of Salar de Atacama, in Chilemontoraki volcano crater It was first identified in the 1960s as being of meteorite originBut doubts remain about his exact age. We know its dimensions: 360 meters from north to south and 380 meters from east to west, with a depth of 31 meters.

Manicouagan Reservoir Crater

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In Quebec, in the Cote Nord region, CanadaOne of the impact craters falls The most amazing thing on earth: That Manikogan. The structure is in the form of multiple rings with a width of about 100 km – it protrudes the interior, 70 km in diameter – and contains an annular lake 70 km long, the Manikogan Reservoir, which encloses the inner plateau of the island, René-Lévasseur. Scientists believe that the crater was caused by the impact of an asteroid five kilometers in diameter before, About 215.5 million years ago, during the Triassic period.

Crater Red Ridge

Asteroid Ridge Crater

In the desert, southern Namibia, The crater Roter Kamm . is locatedIt has a diameter of about 2.5 kilometers and a depth of 130 meters, although it was not without the influence of sand. The structure was formed about four to five million years ago. However, not all meteorite “sewers” are inhospitable; Sometimes they end up turning into ‘cots’. It happened in Bavaria, where se localiza Nördlinger Ries, a structure that was built 15 million years ago and has a diameter of 25 kilometers. In the center is the small town of Nordlingen. In Spain, about 50 km from Zaragoza, there are also AZARA structure, which was also observed Origin associated with meteoriteAnd the small town from which it takes its name.

Jesus Bluff Crater

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In Australia, about 100 miles west of Alice Springs, We found the crater of Jesus BluffAnd One of the most studied structures of influence in the country. Scientists estimate that it was the result of an asteroid one kilometer long about 142 million years ago. Its characteristic central ring of ridges is four and a half kilometers in diameter.

Pictures | Aaron_other (Flickr)NASA (1And 2And 3), PASSCAnd Vistas (Wikipedia)And Amitabhari (Wikimedia)And Aneli Rom (Flickr)And RudiR (Wikimedia)And Copernicus Sentinel-2-ISA s Skyscraper (Wikipedia)And Dementia (Flickr)