The Earth is pocked with roughly 190 major meteor craters, yet scientists only know the age of just a couple of . Recently, A NASA scientist analyzed the age of the Yarrabubba meteor crater in Australia and located it to be 2.229 billion years old, making it now the oldest crater currently known.
“It’s 200 million years older than the previously oldest known crater, which was the over 200-kilometer Vredefort Dome crater in South Africa ,” said Timmons Erickson, a search scientist with the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science division, or ARES, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Erickson made the invention leading a team that included Christopher Kirkland, Nicholas Timms and Aaron Cavosie from Curtin University in Australia and Thomas Davison from Imperial College London. The researchers recently announced their finding within the journal Nature Communications.
Scientists have an interest in dating the age of meteor strikes because these impacts likely played significant roles within the environmental development and history of our planet. for instance , many of us are conversant in the idea that dinosaurs were exhausted by a climatic chain reaction, triggered by a meteor that struck Mexico’s Yucatan 66 million years ago.
“Scientists wonder how meteor impacts might relate to the formation of the continents. We also would really like to understand when the frequency of meteor impacts declined to the purpose where life could emerge and thrive,” said Erickson. “These are all big questions within the field of science.”
The Yarrabubba impact structure Erickson studied is found during a very remote a part of Western Australia . the first crater is believed to possess been 70 kilometers across, though its remnant today is merely 20 kilometers.
The site is so old that today it doesn’t appear as if the standard impact crater that might have a clearly visible rim and deep bowl. Instead, Yarrabubba’s once-defining features are worn away by wind, rain and other natural forces, leaving only overgrown rocky outcrops and ridges.
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