December 9, 2022

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The largest crater on Earth is the largest.  Like the asteroid that caused it

The largest crater on Earth is the largest. Like the asteroid that caused it

Located in South Africa, the Vredefort Crater is the largest of its kind on the planet – so far Until recently, its diameter was estimated to be around 170 km (The outer ring is about 300 km long) so if we wanted to walk on it we would have to prepare to walk for a few days. These dimensions indicate that it is likely to be an asteroid 10-15 kilometers in diameter, moving at a speed of about 15 kilometers per second.

However, it should be noted that the traces left by an asteroid impact about two billion years ago were removed by the elements for a long time, which opened the way for many discussions about the true size of the crater and the force that created it. Latest analyzes performed with a widely used arbitrary simplified Lagrangian Eulerian (iSALE) simulation model. It moves the estimated size of the Vredefort crater far beyond what a 15-kilometre asteroid could create..

They have shown that previous measurements can be narrow The diameter of the original crater can reach 250-280 kilometers at the time of impact. This means that the asteroid was also much larger and could have a diameter of 20-25 kilometers, and just before the collision it would have been moving at a speed of 15-20 kilometers per second.

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Of course as we mentioned two billion years is a long time to destroy “evidence”, so It is not easy to estimate the original size of the pit, especially since it is now covered with farmland The only visible structure is the central dome, but if the new models are correct, the asteroid was much larger than the one that created the Chicxulub crater and contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

And the It would have an even more devastating effect on life on Earth if… it had anything to annihilate. The dust and aerosols emitted by the impact will likely block the flow of sunlight and cool the surface of our planet, which could last for decades, eventually leading to the global warming that dramatically warmed.