Oldest Impact Crater Found in Greenland

Meteorite probably smashed down about 3B years ago
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2012 4:53 PM CDT
Oldest Impact Crater Found in Greenland
A stock image of a meteorite hurtling toward Earth.   (Shutterstock)

Scientists have uncovered what might be the oldest meteorite crater on Earth. Located in Greenland, it's about 62 miles wide and was likely formed 3 billion years ago when a 19-mile-wide meteorite collided with our planet, reports Space.com. Today, an impact that size likely would wipe out humans. What's more, the crater was probably more than 300 miles wide when the meteorite first hit, which would make it the largest on Earth, notes Our Amazing Planet. It's been shrunk since then by erosion.

A Danish researcher discovered the crater while analyzing maps of West Greenland that reveal nickel and platinum abundance—precious metals that can be contained in a meteorite. "The process was rather like a Sherlock Holmes story," says the researcher. We "were left with a giant impact as the only explanation for all of the facts." (More meteor stories.)

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