Your website of the largest meteorite to hit on the British Isles has been discovered at a remote part from the Scottish coast, 1-1 years after scientists identified evidence of the gigantic collision.
A team of researchers from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford located the crater around 12 miles (20 kilometers) west of the coast of Scotlandwhere in fact the feature lay buried underneath rocks and water that helped preserve it all those years. The scientists published their findings today (June 9) from the Journal of the Geological Society.
“The material discharged during a giant meteorite impact is rarely preserved on Earth, because it’s quickly circulated,” Ken Amor, study lead author and researcher at the University of Oxford’s Department of Earth Science, said in a statement. “So this is just a very exciting discovery.”
Related: Oldest Meteorite Collection Found at the Driest Place on the Planet
The meteorite is thought to have hit on our planet 1.2 billion years ago, when Scotland had been a semi arid environment located near the equator,” Oxford officials said in the statement. However there could probably have been no observers of the impact, since most life in the world was confined to the oceans during the time as the collision happened in land.
“It would have been a scene when this massive meteorite struck a bare landscape, spreading dust and stone debris over a large area,” said Amon.
Proof the collision was detected at 2008, when scientists detected large traces of iridium, a chemical found at elevated concentrations in meteorites, at a coating of stones near the southern town of Ullapool.
The stones were initially thought to have led to the volcanic eruption, however, further analysis of their makeup led scientists to their own ancestral origins.
“We are very lucky to have [the stones ] readily available for analysis, since they may tell us much about how exactly surfaces, for example Mars, become modified by large meteorite strikes,” John Parnell, a professor of geology at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and also co-author of their 2008 newspaper, said in a statement at the time.
Using information gathered from the area, the team of scientists determined the approximate direction in the meteorite arrived and thereby found the crater.
Even though thousands of meteorites hit the Earth every year, they normally render much smaller dents. Bigger impacts used to happen more frequently, but now, thousands of small fragments out of meteorites which hit the Earth every year go largely unnoticed.
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