Scientists have found the ancient crater formed by the fall of an asteroid to Earth. In the past, he was also the biggest, but to date, its size decreased significantly, reports LiveScience.
The author of the discovery is a Danish geologist Adam Garde. For many years he has studied the geological structure of the Greenland and collided with a lot of facts that could not be explained. In particular, the scientist found on the island of minerals that form in the extremely high temperatures (they arise, such as an asteroid impact on the Earth's surface).
In the end Garde concluded that about three billion years ago on the territory of modern Greenland dropped a huge asteroid. He was also able to detect the proposed location of his fall in the area of Maniitsoq in the south-west of the island, where there is a crater 100 km in diameter.
With the help of colleagues from the UK, Sweden and Russia Garde managed to gather enough material to make a justification of his hypothesis.
"The learning process was similar to the detective with Sherlock Holmes. Gradually, we have dropped all possible terrestrial processes as impossible and realized that this anomaly is a giant footprint of a meteorite impact "- quoted by RIA" News "team leader Ian MacDonald scientists at Cardiff University.
According to their calculations, which fell to Earth asteroid was truly enormous size — up to 30 km in diameter. As a result a giant crater with a diameter of about 500 km, which quickly filled with gushing into it with sea water. According to the Garda, it is unclear whether the asteroid fell on the continent or in that place at that time was the sea, but it is not important — the ocean, in any case, would fill the crater of this size.
In the past, the Earth has not been a powerful atmosphere, able to protect it from impacts from space. Currently, most of the space of "guests" just burns on the way to the surface of the planet. However, if the open Garde asteroid fell today, its nothing would stop and he would be able to destroy all higher forms of life on Earth.
Scientists know of about 180 craters formed by falling asteroids. The largest of them is located in South Africa and is 300 km in diameter. According to geologists, it was formed two billion years ago.