Earth's violent history: The biggest asteroid impacts of all time

Earth has been hit with massive space objects back in ancient times. Check out the biggest asteroid impacts of all time on Earth.

| Updated on: Aug 28 2023, 09:47 IST
Massive asteroid impacts on Earth known so far. (Pixabay)
Massive asteroid impacts on Earth known so far. (Pixabay)

Over the years, we have been warned by scientists about asteroids making close approaches to Earth. Every now and then we hear about huge plane-sized asteroids closing in on our planet, but none of them so far has crashed on Earth. Scientists believe that we will not see any humanity killing asteroids hitting Earth in the near future, but they also say that asteroid impacts are very much possible. Various space organizations all over the world are studying and identifying space rocks and ways to guard the planet against them. However, back in ancient history, Earth was prone to asteroid impacts and the study says space was more violent back in those days than now. Let's have a look at some of the biggest asteroid impacts on Earth.

Biggest asteroid impact craters

Vredefort Crater

According to a NASA report, it is one of the oldest impacts which occurred around 2 billion years ago when a massive 10 Km asteroid hit the Earth's surface and created the Vredefort Crater. The impact crater covered a huge area of about 180 to 300 km.

Sudbury basin impact

NASA reports that the Sudbury Basin was created about 1.8 billion years ago. The impact crater was measured around 200 Km. Earlier, the crash was assumed to be an asteroid but later it was discovered that the object was actually an icy rock - a comet.

Chicxulub impact

It is one of the most famous impacts in history as the event was responsible for the mass extinction of dinosaurs and the evolution of mammals on the face of Earth. The 10km asteroid created an impact crater of around 200 km wide. The asteroid strike killed over 70 percent of the Earth's species. It happened around 65 mn years ago.

Meteor Crater

This strike is known to be a recent event that occurred around 50,000 years ago. It was an iron asteroid that impacted North America. “A similar-size impact event today could destroy a city the size of Kansas City,” said David Kring, an impact cratering expert at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. The size of the asteroid was measured about 100 to 170 feet and the crater measures around 1.2 Km.

Clearwater Lakes Craters

This crater is known to have had two asteroid impacts, which occurred 280 million and 450 million years ago. The Clearwater West impact was measured at 32 km and the Clearwater East was measured at 26 km diameter. Now, the impact areas are lakes.

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First Published Date: 28 Aug, 09:39 IST