Tag Archives: meteor

10 of the most impressive asteroid impact sites

Many people refer to these structures as “Meteorite Craters“, but that’s at least partially incorrect. Meteor is the term used to describe an object that goes through our planet’s atmosphere, and meteorite is used after the object hit the planet. These are just some of the most amazing ones, and easy to see for an inexperienced eye. They are in no particular order, and some pictures are not natural, but taken via radar or other form of imaging.

Lake El´gygytgyn, central Chukotka, NE Siberia, Russian Federation
Diameter: 12 km

Photo by Vesta, CC BY 3.0

 

Pingualuit crater in Nunavik, northern Quebec, Canada, looking west. It contains a lake named Lake Pingualuk.
Diameter: 3.4 km

Photo by NASA. Courtesy of Denis Sarrazin CC BY 3.0

 

Clearwater lakes (two different craters) as seen from a space shuttle, Canada
Original diameter: 26km

Via Youtube. CC BY 3.0

 

Manicouagan
Diameter: 100 km

Photo by ISS. CC BY 3.0.

Canyonlands National Park, Utah, US
Diameter: 10 km

Photo by AsturKon. CC BY 3.0

Lake Bosumtwi is the only natural lake in Ghana
Diameter: 10.5 km

Photo by NASA, CC BY 3.0

 

Aorounga, Chad
Diameter: 17 km

Photo by ISS, CC BY 3.0

 

Gweni Fada, Chad
Diameter: 14 km

Photo by NASA World Wind, CC BY 3.0

 

 

Gosses Bluff, Australia
Diameter: 24 km

Photo by NASA, CC BY 3.0

Arizona Crater, the first proven, best preserved impact crater and the biggest in the world
Bad thing is that visiting it costs.

CC BY 3.0, via Wiki Commons.

First firm prediction of an incoming space rock confirmed

gaspra

Gaspra asteroid

A very small asteroid exploded over the continent of Africa this week, confirming the prediction of astronomers. Despite the fact that nobody has seen and photographed the asteroid due to the fact that it entered in a very remote area, it was detected with an infrasound array in Kenya; it exploded without striking the Earth.

Scientists estimate that it was about the size of a table, and it exploded with the energy of a quantity between 1.1 and 2.1 kilotons of TNT. They expected a huge fireball, visible for anybody, but this particular asteroid wasn’t quite ordinary.

“A typical meteor comes from an object the size of a grain of sand,” Gareth Williams of the Minor Planet Center explained just before the highly anticipated event. “This meteor will be a real humdinger in comparison!”

There has been only one visual confirmation of such a fireball.

“I have received confirmation that a KLM airliner, roughly 750 nautical miles southwest of the predicted atmospheric impact position, has observed a short flash just before the expected impact time 0246 UTC,” Kuiper said. “Because of the distance it was not a very large phenomenon, but still a confirmation that some bright meteor has been seen in the predicted direction.”

Huge Meteorite Impact Found In UK — Britain’s Largest

meteoriteAfter the “crash site” in Peru, meteorites keep the headlines again! This time, scientists from the University of Oxford and the University of Aberdeen found the biggest meteorite to ever crash in the British islands. The scientists believe that a large meteorite hit northwest Scotland about 1.2 billion years ago near the Scottish town of Ullapool. It was previously believed that the rocks in that area were formed by volcanic eruptions but now they have found evidence that a meteorite is responsable. Ken Amor of Oxford University’s Department of Earth Sciences, co-author on the Geology paper, said:

Chemical testing of the rocks found the characteristic signature of meteoritic material, which has high levels of the key element iridium, normally only found in low concentrations in surface rocks on Earth. We found more evidence when we examined the rocks under a microscope; tell-tale microscopic parallel fractures that also imply a meteorite strike.’

He also drew the conclusions: ‘

This is the most spectacular evidence for a meteorite impact within the British Isles found to date, and what we have discovered about this meteorite strike could help us to understand the ancient impacts that shaped the surface of other planets, such as Mars.’

Hunt for meteorite is on! Ontario, here we come

meteoriteAstronomers from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario have spotted (with the aid of cameras, of course) a meteor falling to Earth; this is quite a rare occasion and scientists from many fields are eagerly awaiting the recovery of the meteorite and the start of the studies.

They spotted a giant fireball Wednesday evening (March 5) at 10:59 p.m. EST with the help of all-sky cameras in Southern Ontario that scan and search for such things, and they also received many emails from people who had actually seen the light. Associate Professor Peter Brown has dedicated a big part of his life to studying meteors and meteorites.

Along with Wayne Edwards, a post doctorate student, he hopes to convince the locals and the local authorities to help them find part of the object, if not all the parts.

“Most meteoroids burn up by the time they hit an altitude of 60 or 70 kilometres from Earth,” says Edwards. “We tracked this one to an altitude of about 24 kilometres so we are pretty sure there are at least one, and possibly many meteorites, that made it to the ground.”

Although these rocks probably weigh about a kilogram (or at most 2) they hold valuable information for physicists, chemists, biologists, astronomers and many more.

“We would love to find a recovered meteorite on this one, because we have the video and we have the data and by putting that together with the meteorite, there is a lot to be learned.”

Here’s a very short movie of what the scientists witnessed.