Telset.id, Jakarta – The largest asteroid that hit Earth nearly two billion years ago may be more massive than scientists thought. According to researchers, the location of the horrific incident is in South Africa.
The largest asteroid “strike” caused the Vredfort Crater in Johannesburg, South Africa. About twice the size of the dinosaur-killing asteroid.
Located about 120 km southwest of Johannesburg, the Vredefort crater currently has a diameter of 159 km, or the largest crater on Earth.
However, the crater is smaller than Chicxulub, which is buried under Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula at 180 km in diameter.
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Chicxulub is the crater left by the dinosaur-killing asteroid. About 66 million years ago, celestial bodies hit the Earth.
The impact crater slowly erodes over time, shrinking. The latest estimate is that the Vredfort Crater was originally between 250 km and 280 km in size.
According to the research results of scientists such as Telephone quote Live ScienceAlthough smaller than Chicxulub, Vredefort is often considered the largest impact crater on Earth.
In the past, scientists thought the Vredefort crater was too small. It is about 172 km wide. However, this hypothesis was eventually disproved.
Researchers previously estimated the asteroid responsible for the impact to be 15 km in size at a speed of 53,900 km/h.
However, in a new study, scientists revisited the dimensions of the crater. They gained new insights into the size of space rocks.
In the study, the researchers recalculated the size of the asteroid Vredefort and found the space rock to be between 20 kilometers and 25 kilometers across.
The asteroid could have been traveling at a speed of 72,000 to 90,000 kilometers per hour when it hit our planet. The resulting seal is also very scary.
“Understanding the composition of Earth’s largest impacts has allowed us to build more accurate geological models,” said lead author Natalie Allen.
“A more accurate prediction of the size of the impactor could also explain other craters on Earth throughout the Solar System,” said the doctoral candidate in physics and astronomy.
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As previously reported, scientists have named a newly discovered crater in Africa the “Dinosaur Killer Cousin.” The crater is thought to be the crash site of a giant meteor that hit Earth millions of years ago.
Scientists estimate that the meteorite hit Earth around the same time as the asteroid that wiped out prehistoric life millions of years ago.
The meteorite crash site was found buried more than 984 feet under the sea. None other than the dinosaur-killer’s “cousin,” the asteroid’s crater was located about 248 miles off the coast of Guinea in West Africa.
Reported The New York PostDr Uisdean Nicholson of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, described the extraordinary discovery as a “nadir crater”.
The asteroid that most likely caused it, which was five miles in diameter, was only about 0.3 miles in diameter.
“This survey is like an ultrasound of the Earth. I may have interpreted it for the last 20 years, but never seen anything like it,” said Dr. Nicholson.
“The shape of the nadir is diagnostic of an asteroid impact. The crater has a raised rim around a central uplift area, with a layer of debris extending outward.”
The asteroid that created the Chicxulub crater caused the extinction of the dinosaurs in the Gulf of Mexico, which is estimated to be about 7.4 miles in diameter and changed the shape of the Earth forever. [SN/HBS]
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