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Home / Science / Ancient asteroid crater located off coast of Scotland | Science

Ancient asteroid crater located off coast of Scotland | Science



Scotland and the Outer Hebrides.

Researchers at Oxford and Aberdeen University found signs of the violent Collision in Scotland on a field trip in 2008,

Tests on rocks near Ullapool in north-west Scotland revealed that the object was about to fall asleep in the Minch , a strait that separates the mainland and northern Inner Hebrides from Lewis and Harris, six miles west of the village of Lochinver.

The 38,000 mph collision, which thumped a 1

2-mile-wide crater into the ground, 1.2bn years ago ago, when most life on Earth was still in the oceans and plants.

"The impact would have been huge and the dust was in the air at several hundred degrees in all directions from the impact site," said Ken Amor, an Oxford researcher who led the latest study. What is left of the Crater is submerged in 200-meter-deep water and covered in sediment.

The first of the impact came down when Amor was helping on a geology field trip in the Scottish Highlands.

Previous researchers speculated that the distinctive red sandstone had come from a volcano, but Cupid Realized that "strange green blobs" in the rock resembled features of an impact crater that underlies the town of Nördlingen near the Danube in western Bavaria. Amor took samples of the SFM back to Oxford and found a strong evidence of asteroid strike: quartz crystals that had been deformed by the shock of an impact.

He thus found high levels of platinum and palladium, metals that are enriched in meteorites, which gave their fiery passage through the atmosphere to Earth's surface.

near Stoer, Amor's team set about finding the impact crater. Using three independent techniques that are scattered on the scatter of dust and rocks, by the impact, and the orientation of tiny magnetic grains blasted into the sky, the researchers traced backwards to the point of impact.

Assuming the crater has not been eroded away, it should be possible to detect it with a seismic reflection survey by the prospecting oil companies, Amor said.

It is unclear how common such impacts are because craters are wiped from earth's surface by erosion, burial and plate tectonics. However, asteroids of the minch are once every 100,000 years and once every 1m years. In Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, 66m years ago, when a space rock estimated at 50 miles wide put an end to the pure of the dinosaurs.


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