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Cosmic Hits: 3 Biggest Asteroid Impacts on Earth!

Cosmic Hits: 3 Biggest Asteroid Impacts on Earth! May 30, 2019Leave a comment

At night, when we look up at the sky, we often realise the vastness of the universe. All the stars, planets, and other cosmic objects like meteorites and asteroids have existed for billions of years. Mankind came into existence on Earth hardly a few million years ago.

Asteroids are rocky bodies orbiting the sun. They are found in large numbers between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. These rocks can have a diameter that can be as small as 10 meters, or as big as 500 kilometers. And they often collide with planets and moons in the solar system. Thanks to the protective layer of atmosphere around the Earth, smaller meteorites are burned down before they touch its surface. But when the rock is big enough, it collides with earth, and the result of the impact is often devastating. Here are 3 of the biggest such impacts in the history of planet Earth:

1) Vredefort Crater:

Located at the Free State in South Africa, the Vredefort crater is as old as 2 billion years. It is also known as Vredefort Dome, and it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. With an estimated diameter of 300 km, it is the world’s largest known impact structure.

2) Sudbury Basin:

Estimated to be around 1.8 billion years old, Sudbury Basin is located at Ontario in Canada. It has an estimated diameter of 130 km, and is one of the largest impact structures on the Earth. It is also one of the oldest known craters created by an asteroid collision.

3) Acraman Crater:

The Crater is now known as ‘Lake Acraman’, and it is located in South Australia. Formed around 580 million years ago, it has an estimated diameter of 90 km.

There has not been a major asteroid hit in last thousands of years, but not all species were as fortunate as us. According to scientists, the famous Chicxulub impact, which happened 66 million years ago, was the cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, that killed about 75% of plants and animals on Earth, including the dinosaurs.