Three-mile-wide Australian meteorite crater formed 100M years ago


Massive three mile wide meteorite crater is discovered by gold miners in Australia’s Outback that formed some 100 MILLION years ago

  • A meteorite crater was discovered in Western Australia’s Outback
  • Scientists determined the crater stretches three miles across
  •  The team found shoot cones at the site, which is a sign of a meteorite impact
  • These form from the high pressure, high velocity shock wave produced by a large impacting object

Gold miners stumbled upon a massive meteorite crater in Western Australia’s Outback that was created some 100-million-years-ago.

Using electromagnetic surveys, researchers were able to create images of the impact, dubbed Ora Banda Crater,  site below the surface to determine it stretches three mile across.

Shoot cones were recovered around the site that form from the high pressure, high velocity shock waves produced by a large impacting object – ‘tell-tale signs of a meteorite impact.’ 

Ancient plant material was also discovered in sediments, which will be further analyzed for microscopic pollen to gather a more accurate date of when the hole was filled. 

Gold miners stumbled upon a massive meteorite crater in Western Australia's Outback that was created some 100-million-years-ago. Using electromagnetic surveys, researchers were able to create images of the impact site below the surface to determine it stretches three mile across

Gold miners stumbled upon a massive meteorite crater in Western Australia’s Outback that was created some 100-million-years-ago. Using electromagnetic surveys, researchers were able to create images of the impact site below the surface to determine it stretches three mile across

The miners were working near the historic Goldfields mining town of Ora Banda, north-west of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, when they spotted rocks that looked out of place.

Geologist and geophysicist Dr Jayson Meyers said: ‘The Ora Banda crater was a bit of a gift.’

‘The geologists who were working on it were drilling holes for gold, and they saw some very unusual rocks.’

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‘They had it in the back of their mind that this really didn’t fit in to anything else they have seen and thought this could be a result of a meteorite impact.’

Shoot cones were recovered from the site, which form from the high pressure, high velocity shock wave produced by a large impacting object ¿ 'tell-tale signs of a meteorite impact'

Shoot cones were recovered from the site, which form from the high pressure, high velocity shock wave produced by a large impacting object – ‘tell-tale signs of a meteorite impact’

The miners were working near the historic Goldfields mining town of Ora Banda, north-west of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, when they spotted rocks that looked out of place

The miners were working near the historic Goldfields mining town of Ora Banda, north-west of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, when they spotted rocks that looked out of place

He told ABC that ‘based on its position and levels of erosion and some of the soil that is filling the sides, we estimate it could be around 100 million years old.’

The team discovered sediments with ancient plant material that will be analyzed by paleontologists looking for microscopic pollen that could reveal when the crate was filled.

Curtin University is assisting Meyers and will investigate droplets of glass along with zircons and other minerals cemented in the shoot cones to hopefully determine a more exact date of when the impact occurred.

Although the team estimates the crater is 100-million-years old, they said it likely happened between 250 million and 40 million years ago.

Zircons and other materials deep in the hole that were vaporized and re-crystallized may also shed light on when the event occurred, resource.ly reports.

‘The energy released when the asteroid impacted would have been more than the combined energy from every atomic test ever conducted,’ Meyers told resource.ly.

Ancient plant material was also discovered in sediments, which will be further analyzed for microscopic pollen to gather a more accurate date of when the hole was filled

Ancient plant material was also discovered in sediments, which will be further analyzed for microscopic pollen to gather a more accurate date of when the hole was filled

The Or Banda crater is, however, five times larger than Australia's famous Wolfe Creek Crater located more north in the state. Wolfe Creek was formed by a meteorite which is estimated to have crashed into earth 300,000 years ago

The Or Banda crater is, however, five times larger than Australia’s famous Wolfe Creek Crater located more north in the state. Wolfe Creek was formed by a meteorite which is estimated to have crashed into earth 300,000 years ago

If this crater hit during the Cretaceous period it would not have had an impact on the dinosaur era, which fell victim to an asteroid that left an impact crater of about 90 miles across in what is now Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula some 66 million years ago.

The Or Banda crater is, however, five times larger than Australia’s famous Wolfe Creek Crater located more north in the state.

Wolfe Creek was formed by a meteorite which is estimated to have crashed into earth 300,000 years ago.

The meteorite left a massive 2,890 feet hole in the ground, which is visible on the surface.

And it was believed to be the second largest crater in the world.

KILLING OFF THE DINOSAURS: HOW A CITY-SIZED ASTEROID WIPED OUT 75 PER CENT OF ALL ANIMAL AND PLANT SPECIES

Around 65 million years ago non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half the world’s species were obliterated.

This mass extinction paved the way for the rise of mammals and the appearance of humans.

The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event.

The asteroid slammed into a shallow sea in what is now the Gulf of Mexico.

The collision released a huge dust and soot cloud that triggered global climate change, wiping out 75 per cent of all animal and plant species.

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Researchers claim that the soot necessary for such a global catastrophe could only have come from a direct impact on rocks in shallow water around Mexico, which are especially rich in hydrocarbons.

Within 10 hours of the impact, a massive tsunami waved ripped through the Gulf coast, experts believe.

Around 65 million years ago non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half the world's species were obliterated. The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (stock image)

Around 65 million years ago non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half the world’s species were obliterated. The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (stock image)

This caused earthquakes and landslides in areas as far as Argentina.

But while the waves and eruptions were  The creatures living at the time were not just suffering from the waves – the heat was much worse.

While investigating the event researchers found small particles of rock and other debris that was shot into the air when the asteroid crashed.

Called spherules, these small particles covered the planet with a thick layer of soot.

Experts explain that losing the light from the sun caused a complete collapse in the aquatic system.

This is because the phytoplankton base of almost all aquatic food chains would have been eliminated.

It’s believed that the more than 180 million years of evolution that brought the world to the Cretaceous point was destroyed in less than the lifetime of a Tyrannosaurus rex, which is about 20 to 30 years.



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