Solar system, the very names takes us back to our school days especially the geography classes. I remember how I always wished to get rid of those boring classes. But frankly, we can’t deny whatever we learnt about our surroundings, earth, the solar system and other things was in those school classes.
Remember the chapters that covered the solar system, planets, asteroids, meteors, comets? I am talking about these in detail to give you the idea about what I am here to talk about. Asteroid/comets impacts! Personally, I found it an interesting topic worth talking about.
There are innumerable asteroids whizzing around the solar system and Astronomers have always raised fears of asteroids that can wipe out life on earth.
Although, the chances of collision in the nearby future are quite remote but the fact remains that in the past there have been some impacts worth a look. We don’t exactly know the consequences of collisions but the impacts of such collisions on earth and the scars leave us imagining how disastrous could they have been.
Here is a list of 10 Impact Craters Caused By Asteroid Attacks On Earth that left scars visible even today. Pinned below are the biggest impact craters around the world.
1. Kara-Kul Lake, Tajikistan
Kara-Kul, also known as Qarokul is a 16 mile (25km) wide lake in the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan, close to the Chinese border which is at an altitude of 13,000 feet (3,900 m) above sea level. The lake is located within a 28 mile wide circular depression which was the result of a meteorite that hit some 5 million years ago.
2. Gosses Bluff, Australia
Some 142 million years ago, a large asteroid measuring 22 km in diameter crashed at 40 km/sec in the southern Northern Territory near the center of Australia and released massive energy that was equivalent to 22,000 megatonnes of TNT creating one of the most significant impact structures in the world. The crater measures 15 mile (24km) in diameter and is 16,400 ft (5,000m) in depth.
3. Barringer Crater in Arizona, US
Some 49,000 years ago a large nickel-iron meteorite weighing several hundred thousand tons and traveling at a speed of 40,000 miles per hour hit the Earth thereby resulting in a crater. The Barringer Crater lies 55 km east of Flagstaff, Arizona and is the best preserved impact crater ever. Measuring 0.75 miles (1.2 km) across, 575 ft (175 m) deep and 148 ft (45 m) higher rim, it was discovered in 1902. The Crater was named after Daniel Barringer, who was a successful mining engineer and is still owned by his family. It’s also, known by the names Meteor Crater, Coon Butte, and Canyon Diablo.
4. Aorounga Impact Crater, Chad
Aorounga is an eroded meteorite crater formed 2-300 million years ago in the Sahara Desert, northern Chad in Africa. A comet with a 1 mile diameter hit the Earth’s crust. It measures 11 miles (17 km) and is accompanied by two nearby circular features which were revealed by the Space Shuttle’s SIR-C radar after picturing an area of about 22 miles.
5. Clearwater Lakes, Canada
Approximately 290 million years ago, near the eastern shore of Hudson Bay, two circular impact craters were formed simultaneously by the impact of an asteroid pair which crashed on Earth. One of the craters in West Clearwater Lake is 20 mile (32km) in diameter while the smaller one in the East Clearwater Lake is 13.7 mile (22km) in diameter.
6. Manicouagan Crater, Canada
Some 212 million years ago, a 3 mile (5km) wide asteroid hit the earth and caused a 62 mile (100km) wide giant hole. It is one of the largest craters known till date. 40 miles in diameter the concentric structure of the crater depicts the shock waves generated by the impact of the asteroid. Its structure is similar to the rings formed when a pebble is thrown into water.
7. Chicxulub Crater, Mexico
Buried underneath the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, near the Chicxulub village, this ancient impact crater measures 105 miles (170km) in diameter and is pretty high. Created about some 65 million years ago, this crater is the result of asteroid hitting the Earth which caused destructive mega-tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions around the globe. It is believed that the crater led to the extinction of dinosaurs as it caused global firestorm which resulted in widespread greenhouse effect.
8. Lake Bosumtwi Crater, Ghana
Lake Bosumtwi Crater is about 30 km south-east of Kumasi, Ghana in the crystalline bedrock of the West African Shield and is the country’s only natural lake. Some 1.3 million years ago, a meteor opened up hole in the ground which was 6 mile (10.5 km) diameter. Surrounded by dense rainforest, the Ashanti people consider it to be sacred. It is believed that it’s a place where souls of the dead come to bid farewell to the god Twi.
9. Deep Bay, Canada
Located near the south-western tip of Reindeer Lake in Saskatchewan, Canada, the Deep Bay is strikingly circular, deep and unusually irregular shallow lake that was formed some 100 million years back. The 8 mile (13km) wide crater is a complex structure that was formed when a large meteorite crashed.
10. Mistastin Lake, Canada
A 17.4 miles wide lake was formed in Labrador, Canada when a meteorite hit the earth some 38million years ago. Since then the eastward moving glaciers have drastically reduced its size and a lake appeared within the rims, Mistastin Lake. In the middle of the lake is an arcuate central island which could be the central uplift of the complex crater structure.