Large meteorite affect crater confirmed beneath Greenland’s ice

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Discovered below the Hiawatha Glacier, the crater is about 1,000 toes (300 meters) deep and 19 miles (31 kilometers) extensive, according to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Hiawatha crater area proven with and with out the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Credit score: NASA/Cindy Starr

It was probably shaped when a half a mile (800 meter) extensive iron meteorite struck northwest Greenland lower than three million years in the past. It was then lined in ice, hiding it from view, NASA stated.

A group of researchers from the College of Copenhagen’s Centre for GeoGenetics on the Pure Historical past Museum of Denmark first noticed the crater in July 2015.

The researchers had been inspecting a brand new map of the topography beneath Greenland’s ice sheet created by ice-penetrating radar knowledge once they observed a round despair below the Hiawatha Glacier.

They suspected it was a crater and have spent the final three years analyzing NASA knowledge and dealing with colleagues in the USA to confirm their findings, which were published in the journal Science Advances Wednesday.

“The crater is exceptionally well-preserved and that’s shocking as a result of glacier ice is an extremely environment friendly erosive agent that will have shortly eliminated traces of the affect,” stated Kurt Kjær, a professor on the Middle for GeoGenetics on the Pure Historical past Museum of Denmark and lead writer of the research.

Kjær stated the affect might need occurred on the finish of the final ice age, which might make it among the many youngest on the planet.

The Hiawatha impact crater is covered by the Greenland Ice Sheet, which flows just beyond the crater rim, forming a semi-circular edge. Part of this edge, seen in the top of the photograph, and a tongue of ice that breaches the crater's rim are shown in this photo taken during a NASA flight in April.

The analysis group plans to proceed investigating how the meteor’s affect affected the planet as an entire, NASA stated.



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