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A huge crater found that hiding under Greenland ice is greater than in Washington, D.C.



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By David Freeman

An international research team claims to have discovered a large-scale impact crater hidden beneath more than half a mile of ice in Greenland.

With a width of more than 1

9 miles and a depth of about 300 meters, the huge, bowl-shaped depression is larger than Washington, DC, and one of the 25 largest craters ever discovered on Earth. It is also the first crater discovered under a continental ice sheet.

The crater arose when a meteorite that is more than half a mile wide shattered into an area now covered by the Hiawatha Glacier in northwest Greenland, the researchers say a work describing their discovery.

Researchers can not determine the age of the crater. However, its well-preserved condition suggests that it has formed "after ice greenland, which is less than three million years old and possibly 12,000 years old." Kurt Kjaer, a professor at the Center for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen and the leader of the team, said in a written statement.

  Image: Hiawatha Impact Crater
Close-up of the area where the crater was found. Natural History Museum of Denmark [19659012] Regardless of the age of the crater, its discovery recalls that the earth still has a few secrets up its sleeve.

"There is so much more about our landscape that we have not understood yet," said Joe MacGregor, a glaciologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and a member of the scientific team. "This is especially true for the polar regions, because so much is covered by ice."


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