Scientists in Australia have discovered what they say is the largest asteroid impact area ever found on Earth.
But the exact ecological impact thought to be one giant asteroid which broke in two before slamming into the planet over 300 million years ago remains a mystery. A team of geophysicists found the ‘twin scars’ while drilling for geothermal research in the Warburton Basin, near the borders of Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory.
The crater from the impact millions of years ago has long disappeared. But a team of geophysicists has found the twin scars of the impacts, the largest impact zone ever found on Earth, hidden deep in the earth’s crust. The two impact zones total more than 400 kilometers across, in the Warburton Basin in Central Australia. They extend through the Earth’s crust, which was about 30 kilometers thick in this area.
“When a large impact occurs the crater’s contents are blown into the atmosphere, although relics of the crater may in some instances be preserved.”
The two asteroids would have been more than 10km wide, said Dr Andrew Glikson from the Australian National University’s School of Archaeology and Anthropology.