520-km diameter asteroid impact crater found in southeast Australia | Tech News

520-km diameter asteroid impact crater found in southeast Australia

New discovery by scientists reveals that there might be the largest asteroid impact buried deep in the New South Wales town of Deniliquin.

| Updated on: Aug 17 2023, 10:04 IST
Asteroid 2023 PZ approaching Earth for a close approach, says NASA
1/4 Asteroid 2020 PP1 - Asteroid 2020 PP1, is currently heading towards Earth and will get very close to Earth tomorrow, July 28. The asteroid is nearly the size of a house with a width of 52 feet. It is travelling at almost 14641 kilometers per hour and will make its closest approach at 6.5 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
2/4 The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) reports that asteroid 2023 PZ will make its closest approach to Earth on August 17, 2023, at a speed of 5639 kilometres per hour.
3/4 NASA's asteroid data tracker suggests that asteroid 2023 PZ is expected to come as close as 522,000 KM to the Earth. (Pixabay)
4/4 In terms of size, the asteroid is 18 feet long. This asteroid is a Near-Earth object belonging to the Aten group. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid crater of about 520 kilometres in diameter might be buried deep in southeast Australia. (Pixabay)

We all know about the theory that suggets an asteroid strike on Earth caused the extinction of dinosaurs some 65 mn years ago. The crater is in Chicxulub region off the coast of Mexico and it spans 93 miles. The asteroid impact had caused the extinction of not just dinosaurs but many other species, but even more importantly, it had laid the foundation for the rise of mammals and the eventual elevation of humans to the top. Now, a new discovery reveals that in ancient times, our planet experienced more asteroid strikes, which were bigger than many of the events we know about and a crater has been found to prove it.

According to research published in Tectonophysics, scientists may have found the largest asteroid impact which ranges 520 km in diameter somewhere near the New South Wales town of Deniliquin. They named the impact point the Deniliquin structure which is greater in size than the 300 km wide Vredefort impact structure found in South Africa and is known to be the world's largest impact area.

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About Deniliquin structure

The Australian continent has become a main point of focus for asteroid impacts. As per reports, the area has 38 confirmed impact structures and 43 spots known to be potential structures. Between 1995 and 2000, a scientist named Tony Yeates discovered patterns for greater asteroid impacts than the Chicxulub crater. The evaluation of the area's updated geophysical information from 2015 to 2020 confirmed the presence of a 520 km diameter structure with a seismic dome at its heart.

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The area is now known as the Deniliquin structure which possesses all the properties of large-scale asteroid impact. The magnetic data in nearby areas reveal a symmetrical rippling pattern in the crust around the core of the formation and the data should the evidence of “radial faults” and other magnetic anomalies.

Scientists suspect that the asteroid impact might have occurred 514 million years ago during the early Cambrian period.

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First Published Date: 17 Aug, 10:00 IST