Meteor STRIKE: 'Biggest ever' 3,280ft space rock hit Britain and it could happen AGAIN

The imposing crash-landed near the British Isles between 9.3 miles to 12.4 miles (15km to 20km) west of Scotland. Evidence of the impact, which occurred around 1.2 billion years ago, was first unearthed in 2008 near Ullapool. However, until recently, scientists have been unable to pinpoint the exact location of the meteor’s impact. A new study by the University of Oxford and the University of Aberdeen has solved the mystery and warned a similar impact is likely to take place in the future.

According to Dr Ken Amor from Oxford’s Department of Earth Science, the meteor is buried under the waters and rocks of Minch Basin.

Minch Basin in the remote parts of Northwest Scotland separates the Highlands and the Inner Hebrides from the Outer Hebrides and the island of Lewis and Harris.

Dr Amor said: “The material excavated during a giant meteorite impact is rarely preserved on Earth, because it is rapidly eroded, so this is a really exciting discovery.

“It was purely by chance this one landed in an ancient rift valley where fresh sediment quickly covered the debris to preserve it.


“The next step will be a detailed geophysical survey in our target area of the Minch Basin.”

The results of the study were published today in the Journal of the Geological Society.

Using a combination of field observations and the distribution of meteor debris, the scientists were able to chart the direction and likely source of the crater.

Dr Amor said: “It would have been quite a spectacle when this large meteorite struck a barren landscape, spreading dust and rock debris over a wide area.”


At the time of the meteor impact, Scotland would have been much closer to the equator than it is today.

The climate would have been considerably more arid and devoid of life – 1.2 billion years ago there were no plants on the land and life still remained in the oceans.

According to the study, the Earth, which is only 4.5 billion years old, resembled Mars when it still had water on the surface.

But what about the possibility of future impacts? Scientists fear there is a strong chance another rock will hit in the future.


On average, much smaller meteors only a few feet across hit the Earth every 25 years or so.

And every day hundreds of tonnes of sand particle-sized debris harmlessly burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Collisions with meteors the size of the Scotland rock, on the other hand, hit on average every 100,000 to one million years.

Estimates vary because impact craters erode over time, making it hard to analyse past impacts.


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