World’s largest Asteroid Crater found in Australia

World's largest Asteroid Crater found in Australia

ANU / Image: D. Seymour

Millions of years ago a huge astroid slammed central Australia creating the largest Astroid Crater discovered yet.

There is a new World’s largest Asteroid Crater. Scientists from the Australian National University led by Dr Andrew Glikson discovered the new astroid crater in central Australia. The impact zone is hidden deep under the earth crust. The crater is 400 kilometers wide (260 miles). The crater was hit by a huge astroid that broke in two pieces just before impact.

“The two asteroids must each have been over 10 kilometers across – it would have been curtains for many life species on the planet at the time,” said Dr Glikson.

There is still a big mystery when exactly this astroid hit Australia. The surrounding rocks are 300 to 600 million years old, but Dr Glikson could not find any evidence of the impact besides the crater. 

“It’s a mystery – we can’t find an extinction event that matches these collisions. I have a suspicion the impact could be older than 300 million years,” he said.

Large astroid impacts in earth history are linked to major extinctions. The common explanation for the dinosaur extinction is an astroid impact 66 million years ago. 

The crater was discovered by chance. Dr Andrew Glikson and his team found the new astroid crater after spotting traces of rocks in a drill core from a deep drill for geothermal research near the borders of South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory that had been turned to glass by the extreme temperature and pressure caused by a major impact. With magnetic modeling of the deep crust of the earth the area the team found the giant crater.

The previous largest astroid crater was in South Africa. It measured 300 kilometers (186 miles). 


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