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Huge Crater Found Believed to Cause Mass Extinction

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posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 07:11 PM
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A huge crater was found in the east antartic that indicates a major meteor hit the earth about 250 million years ago. This one is much larger then the one that may have killed off the dinosaurs, up to 4-5 times the size. Chicxulub crater, believe to have killed of the dinosaurs was caused by a meteor about 6 miles wide, this Wilkes meteor would be about 30 miles wide. The crater is 300 miles wide.
 



www.hindu.com
Columbus, (Ohio), June 2: Planetary scientists have found evidence of a meteor impact much larger and earlier than the one that killed the dinosaurs -- an impact that they believe caused the biggest mass extinction in Earth's history.

The 300-mile-wide crater lies hidden more than a mile beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. And the gravity measurements that reveal its existence suggest that it could date back about 250 million years -- the time of the Permian-Triassic extinction, when almost all animal life on Earth died out.

Its size and location -- in the Wilkes Land region of East Antarctica, south of Australia -- also suggest that it could have begun the breakup of the Gondwana supercontinent by creating the tectonic rift that pushed Australia northward.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


all I can say is holy hell thats huge. Something that big must have been extremely damaging to everything on the planet. I cant begin to imagine the damge something like that must have done. Trying to imagine the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs is hard, but this is even bigger. The idea this may have caused australia to have shifted and broke away is simply amazing. It shows just how destructive and damaging something like this can be.

Its being tied to the worst mass extinction ever. this thing must have been massive. Imagine watching it come down and hit the earth from a viewable distance. (might as well see it if its going to kill you anyway haha)

Related News Links:
www.space.com

[edit on 2-6-2006 by grimreaper797]

[edit on 2-6-2006 by UM_Gazz]




posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 07:33 PM
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i also just thought of something else. At the time that area (antartica) must not have been covered by ice or else it would have impacted the ice. This shows that ice wasn't originally there, and that these ice caps may be periodical. Interesting take huh?



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 08:13 PM
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Well grimreaper you must consider in that time period the physical land mass that is now Antarctica was in a more northernly location. This does not necessarily mean there was no ice in the southern polar region. The north pole does not have any land mass and it is still covered in ice. Although it is beginnning to melt away... which I suppose supports your thoughts on that.

Ahh well, meteors this size technically contribute land mass to the Earth dont they? Like Thats that much more rock that was added to our planet, although the majority of it was probably vaporized and scattered all over.



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 10:01 PM
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The upwelling of dense magma from deeper inside the earth would have caused a spin imbalance of the planet that would have tended to help shift the impact site towards the south pole. That impact could have been one of the primary reasons for the breakup of the supercontinent that supposedly existed at the time.

Unless I'm mistaken, scientists are even now speculating on spin imbalances as being the cause of the location of the water jets at the south pole of the tiny saturnian moon Enceladus.

[edit on 2-6-2006 by Astronomer70]




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