World’s Largest Asteroid Impact Found in Australia
Scientists have recently discovered what they believe could be evidence of the world’s largest asteroid impact in Australia. The structure, hidden beneath the ground in New South Wales, is estimated to be approximately 300 miles across. If confirmed, this impact would surpass all others previously recorded.
Tracing the Hidden Impact
Uncovering the world’s largest asteroid impact is no easy feat. While the force of an impact can create massive geological structures, erosion over millions of years can erase many visible features. However, scientists have employed various techniques to search for telltale signs left behind.
Over the course of five years, scientists conducted ground surveys near Deniliquin in Australia. They discovered circular fractures known as "radial faults" radiating from a central structure. These fractures were accompanied by small magnetic anomalies, likely caused by molten rock filling the impact’s peaks and troughs.
According to Andrew Glickson, a paleo-geophysicist, the structure, named the Deniliquin structure, spans up to 520 kilometers in diameter, or approximately 300 miles. This would make it larger than any other documented asteroid impact on Earth, including the Vredefort impact in South Africa and the Chicxulub impact, which is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs.
Confirming the Findings
To confirm the discovery, scientists plan to collect physical evidence from the site itself. Glickson explains that drilling deep into the structure will provide proof of the impact. However, before this can happen, scientists must determine the exact age of the impact.
Glickson suggests that the impact occurred when Australia was still part of the supercontinent Gondwana, which eventually broke off and formed several continents. This would make the impact at least 180 million years old, possibly even older. Glickson believes that the impact may have triggered a mass extinction event called the Hirnantian glaciation stage, which occurred approximately 445.2 to 443.8 million years ago and wiped out 85% of Earth’s species.
The Implications of the Discovery
The finding of the world’s largest asteroid impact has significant implications for our understanding of Earth’s history. It provides insight into the magnitude of past asteroid impacts and their potential role in shaping our planet. Additionally, studying the Deniliquin structure could shed light on the mass extinction event that occurred hundreds of millions of years before the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Further exploration and analysis of the impact site will allow scientists to gather more information and expand our knowledge of the Earth’s geological history. The discovery serves as a reminder of the powerful forces that have shaped our planet over billions of years.
In conclusion, scientists have unearthed evidence of what could be the world’s largest asteroid impact in Australia. The hidden structure, estimated to be 300 miles across, presents a unique opportunity to study the impact’s effects on the Earth and its species. By drilling into the site and collecting physical evidence, scientists hope to confirm the impact and gain insight into Earth’s geological past. This discovery has the potential to reshape our understanding of asteroids’ impact on our planet’s history.
- Scientists have found evidence of the world’s largest asteroid impact in Australia, estimated to be 300 miles across.
- The impact, named the Deniliquin structure, is larger than any other documented asteroid impact on Earth.
- Circular fractures and small magnetic anomalies indicate the presence of the impact beneath the ground.
- Scientists plan to collect physical evidence from the site to confirm the impact.
- The discovery provides valuable insights into Earth’s geological history and the potential role of asteroid impacts in mass extinction events.