Saturday, March 23, 2013

Top 10 Largest Meteor Craters All Over the World

Have you remembered the recent meteor fall that occurred in Russia? For many years, that kind of sighting happens quite seldom these days, since most of the time, the nearest of celestial body encounters are appreciated and observed only through powerful telescopes. But a meteor seen by the naked eye that has been also captured by cameras? It’s the closest thing a falling object from space could get into Earth for over a century already. However, tracing back in time, there are also meteor impacts that have changed many things within the planet, proving to be far bigger than what has been experienced just recently. Here are the top 10 largest meteor craters all over the world, telling you that small things hurling from space can create huge holes on the ground.
Top 10 Largest Meteor Craters All Over the World

10. Tookoonooka Crater
The Tookoonooka crater can no longer be seen these days because the crevice created by the impact has been concealed in the ground during the Cretaceous period, particularly at a time when the Cadna-owie Formation was under way. This was over 123 to 133 million years ago, but the crater had been discovered due to data collected during a petroleum expedition back in 1989. The discovery of shocked quartz being found on the drill’s core. The crater is over 66km in diameter, and is now situated in South West Queensland in Australia.

9. Morokweng Crater
Located close to the borders of Botswana in South Africa, the Morokweng crater, despite that it can no longer be found physically as it is buried underneath the Kalahari Desert, is quite huge being 70km in diameter. It is named as such, as it is found nearest to the town of Morokweng. It was recently found in 1994 and is noted to be over 145 million years of age, specifically timed during the Jurassic-Cretaceous transition period. However, thanks to magnetic and gravimetric surveys conducted near the area of impact, along with the discovery of original asteroid being 770m deep, the existence of the said crater was verified, where its fragments have also been preserved and displayed inside the London Science Museum.

8. Puchezh-Katunki Crater
Even by just basing the location of the Puchezh-Katunki crater by name, it can be easily identified that the 80km crater is found in Russia. Specifically discovered in the Volga Federal District, the Puchezh-Katunki crater is known to make impact in the Earth’s surface during the Phanerozoic period. Due to the period of collision made, it is the only of its kind that was never responsible for putting any form of specie in extinction. In fact, when it is seen today, it can be quite difficult to trace but can be detected as vegetation planted within its craters are different, compared to those outside the crater.

7. Chesapeake Bay Crater
The Chesapeake Bay crater is actually quite famous for its location of impact, not only because it is the biggest impact crater found in the US being 85km in diameter, but more importantly, it is one of the most reserved as it can be found underwater. Its effect in the Chesapeake Bay is actually apparent, as the impact also shaped the presence of land being found nearby. Due to its location, the said crater is also one of the best studied as specifics such as depth, total diameter, even impact diameter, along with peak rings, and impact depth have all been researched in detail. Scientists were able to compare the crater being two times larger than Rhode Island and almost as deep as the Grand Canyon. Even the geophysical changes during the impact about 35 million years were analyzed in accuracy, saying that the found statistics in the meteor’s impact may have caused a tsunami that affected modern day geological features.

6. Manicouagan Crater
If there is one crater that is noted to be the most visible today, it would be none other than the impact crater found in the regions of Quebec, Canada. Located in the Manicouagan Regional County Municipality, the visible crater, surprisingly, is one of the oldest impacts that ever occurred in prehistoric times, even over 215 million years of age. The meteor that fell is described to be over 5km in diameter, which is why it has been concluded by most researchers that the Manicouagan crater could also be responsible for the extinction of certain creatures by the end of the Carnian period. The impact is over 100km in diameter.

5. Popigai Crater
Although both the Manicouagan and Popigai craters are 100km in diameter, the time of impact should be one factor that makes the difference, especially with the fact that crater size may have became smaller due to sedimentation and time-variable physical changes that may affect the crater in general. The Manicougan is about 215 million years, while the latter is only 35 million. Despite that the meteor fell on land, the Popigai crater found in Siberia can still be seen in satellite, as the discoloration of the ground is still apparent. This was one of the reasons why UNESCO has named the impact site as a Geopark. In the same spot also lies a diamond mine that’s being operated and protected by Stalin, which actually fascinated scientists as the abundance of diamond is due to the transformation of graphite due to the pressure created by the impact of the probable chondrite asteroid.

4. Woodleigh Crater
Discovered by four scientists working at the Geological Survey of Western Australia and the Australian National University in 15 April 2000, the Woodleigh crater, located in Western Australia, is one of the most recent crater impact finds, as announced by Arthur J. Mory, the group’s leader. While there may be question whether the 120km diameter size of the crater is true, as the asteroid that caused such damage to the Earth’s surface could be about 6km in diameter, the power of impact leads to other conclusive claims where the atmospheric pressure made by the impact is over 100,000 times greater.

3. Chicxulub Crater
There is also one impact that occurred in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, particularly set in the town near Chicxulub over 66 million years ago in the Cretaceous Period. The 180km crater is said to be caused by an asteroid that is over 10km in diameter, which is actually pretty huge, even unto this day. And with such a big meteor falling to

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