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1.2 billion years ago hit a 1-km asteroid in Scotland

In 2008, researchers from Oxford and Aberdeen University made a startling discovery in Northwest Scotland. Near the village of Ullapool, which sits on the coast towards the outer Hebrews, they found a debris deposit created by an ancient meteor impact dated 1.2 billion years ago. The thickness and extent of the debris suggested that the meteor was measured 1 km (0.62 mi) in diameter and took place near the hills t.

Until recently, the exact location of the support was a mystery to researchers. But in a recent document in the Journal of the Geological Society a British team concluded that the crater is about 15-20 km (9-12 miles) west of the Scottish coast in the Minch Basin, where it is buried under both water and younger rocks.

The research group was led by Dr. Kenneth Amor, who joined several colleagues from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford and Stephen P. Hesselbo – a professor of geology at the Camborne School of Mines and environmental and sustainability institute at the University of Exeter.

Field photo of Stoer showing the laminar beds of sandstone in the bottom of the picture. Credit: Oxford University

Minch refers to the straight that sits between the Scottish mainland and the Hebrides, which is part of the inner lake region just off the coast of the West where Scotland. The team decided that meteorological effects took place in this region based on several lines of evidence. These included field observations, analysis of broken rock fragments, and magnetic particle alignment.

"The material that was dug during a giant meteorite impact is rarely preserved on earth, as it is rapidly eroded, so this is a very exciting discovery. It was a coincidence that landed in an old rift valley where fresh sediment quickly covered the garbage for The next step will be a detailed geophysical survey in our target area in the Minch Basin.

Based on their analysis, the team was able to determine where the meteorite sent material generated by the effect from multiple sites, then took the material back to the most probably the source of the crater, which led them to the "Minch meteor" site. The timing of this impact is particularly significant given the state of the earth at that time.

During the Mesoproterozoic era about 1.2 billion years ago, the first The complex life forms on earth and the majority of life were still water, and the landmass is as well r Scotland today located in the Laurentia craton (part of the supercontinent of Rodinia) and was closer to the equator at that time. This means that the human meteor hit, the Scottish landscape was very different than it is today.

Close-up image of "accretionary lapilli" formed in chance and found in the deposit. Credit: Oxford University

Somehow it would have looked similar to what scientists' image Mars looked like billions of years ago, with semi-dried conditions and with some water on its surface. The study also provides insight into the earth's ancient development and can even give tips on future effects. About a billion years ago, soils and other planets in the solar system experienced a higher meteorite impact than they do today.

This was the result of collisions between asteroids and debris left from the formation of early solar systems. Due to the number of asteroids and comet fragments that still float around in the solar system today, it is possible that a similar consequence event will happen sometime in the not so long future.

At present, the impact of smaller objects – measuring a few meters in diameter – is considered a relatively common occurrence that occurs once a 25 years on average. On the other hand, objects measuring about 1 km (0.62 mi) in diameter are thought to collide with the earth once per 100,000 to one million years.

But official estimates vary depending on the fact that the terrestrial record with large effects is poorly limited. Unlike celestial bodies like Mars or the Moon, craters are regularly excavated on the earth by erosion, burial and tectonic activity. Knowing with confidence was and when previous consequences took place and what effects they had, is the key to understanding what we could ever face.

In this way, the identification of the Minch meteor site can help with the development of the planetary defense as


Loading. Loading. Loading. Loading. Oxford University Journal of the Geological Society

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