The site of what has already been defined as the largest meteor impact crater in the UK has been identified and analyzed and confirmed (it was already discovered in 2008) by a group of researchers from the universities of Oxford and Aberdeen. The traces related to the site, located near Ullapool, Scotland, were produced 1.2 billion years ago by a meteorite with an estimated width of one mile.
Although the precise point of impact, which is now in the sea about 20 km away from the Scottish coast, is still unknown today, there are many details and information that scientists have collected and then published in the Journal of the Geological Society. The identification of the crater itself, however, required various analyses and was quite difficult because the impact occurred at a point that was then covered by the sea over time. The main traces, therefore, are now found under the seawater of the Minch basin.
It is, in any case, an “exciting discovery,” as reported by Ken Amor, one of the authors of the study, because despite this various interesting traces have been preserved thanks to the fact that most of the meteorite ended up in an ancient valley where then the sediments have covered them and in a way preserved. According to the scientists, attending such an event “would have been a real spectacle,” as the debris scattered by the impact of the meteorite was mostly thrown into an arid landscape and a large area.
There were no witnesses, however: at that time (more than 1.2 billion years ago) there were still no living beings on Earth and life was still only in the sea. The territory that is now part of Scotland, moreover, at that time was located near the equator and was characterized by an arid environment and a “Martian” landscape. According to scientists, there is also the possibility that such an event may occur in the future since objects with a diameter of about one kilometer that impact on Earth arrive on average every 100,000-1 million years (estimates are quite variable).
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