New data about a space rock that hit the Earth a long time ago surfaces.
It’s been revealed that one of the largest known meteorites hit our beloved planet almost 800,000 years ago. The exact spot was not known until now, according to the latest reports coming from CNN.
It seems that the crater produced by this huge space rock may be lying beneath lava in a 910 cubic kilometer area of the Bolaven plateau volcanic field in the Southeast Asian nation of Laos, says a paper that has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.
The meteorite was 2 km wide
The meteorite that crashed into our planet more than 790,000 years ago was 2 km wide, and the impact was reportedly so massive that the debris was flung across Asia, Australia and Antarctica.
CNN notes that the very first clues that are leading to the impact site came from some really small glassy objects that are called tektites.
Experts believe that these elements formed from Earth material that melted upon the meteorite impact, and then they were thrown into the atmosphere before they fell back o the ground.
“Their existence means that the impacting meteorite was so large and its velocity so fast that it was able to melt the rocks that it hit,” Professor Kerry Sieh, principal investigator with the Earth Observatory of Singapore and one of the paper’s authors, told CNN.
Evidence of a potential location of impact
Experts also said that their study is trying to put together a lot of lines of evidence that range from the chemical nature of these tektites to their physical features and from gravity measurements to measuring the age of lavas that are burying the crater.
The theory needs a lot more work to be done in order to be eventually 100% confirmed.
CNN notes that experts will have to drill down a few hundred meters in order to see if the rocks that are below the lavas are the ones that they would expect to have been at an impact site. They should show evidence of melting and shattering, says CNN.