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SCI/TECH: Meteor Crater formation revisited

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posted on Mar, 10 2005 @ 05:51 AM
The creation of ne of the most famous impact site on the planet, Meteor Crater, has been reassessed and it is now believed the meteorite that crashed was now a small part of a much larger rock body. The 1.2km-wide hole in the ground was caused by a meteor that crashed about 49,000 years ago, and it is now believed that the meteorite in question was going alot slower than originally thought. Apparantly the rock was much larger originally but cracked from other collisions, and when it entered the Earth's atmosphere it broke up, causing the craterr and scattering smaller debris over a wide area.
"The model that we used is actually calibrated on something like half a dozen known meteorite entry events in which we could see the iron meteorite broke up," explained Dr Melosh.

"Evidently, the iron mass in space is fragmented, probably by previous impacts that occurred throughout the history of the body, so it is already partially fractured before it hits the atmosphere."

The pancake, Melosh and Collins say, would have spread out over about 200m. At its core would have been a 20m-wide dense "swarm" of material, perhaps even a single block.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This is a nice discovery, and it's also weird to know that had it not broken up and kept up its original size and speed it would've caused alot more damage, although that wouldn't have bothered us too much.

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