Asteroids Capable of Destroying Cities Hit More Often Than Believed

A recent discovery explains that the space objects bigger enough to smash our planet exist often than we thought. Scientists began a study of Wolfe’s Creek Crater, a 2,900ft-wide crater from Western Australia.

They examined the age of the crater, and they believed that a 14,000-tonne space object made it. The estimated impact-force is the equivalent of 36 nuclear bombs. Also, the crash happened almost 300,000 years ago, but it could happen much earlier, according to the study.

A team of researchers from Australia’s University of Wollongong succeeded in indicating the time of the impact somewhere to 120,000 years ago. Such a discovery made scientists revise earlier estimates for how often big space objects could smash Earth.

Asteroids Capable of Destroying Cities Hit More Often Than Believed

Professor Tim Barrows, the lead researcher, detailed, “Although the rate is only one large meteor hitting Australia every 17,000 years, it isn’t that simple. Since Australia has an excellent preservation record with dated craters within the arid zone, we can extrapolate a rate for the whole Earth.”

The techniques used by researchers involved two parts. The first one measured how long the asteroid within had been exposed to outer space radiation. The second was used to trace when the sediment was last displayed to sunlight. They even succeeded in developing a 3D map of the crater based on some aerial images.

Professor Barrows added: ” We calculate that the maximum width of the crater is 946 meters in a NE-SW direction, reflecting the direction of the impact.” The average diameter was proved to be about 892 meters. In 1908 the last smash with a colossal asteroid happened. Researchers predicted the depth of 178 meters, filled by about 120 meters of sediment. Most of that represents the sand that was blown in from the desert.

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