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NASA has found a massive, ancient crater under Greenland’s Ice. The crater buried under two kilometers of ice in northwest Greenland. Even more surprisingly, it’s the second crater discovered under the region’s thick ice in recent months.
According to motherboard.vice.com “Stretching across 36.5 kilometers (22 miles), the crater was likely formed by an asteroid impact within the past 2.6 million years, according to a study published Monday in Geophysical Research Letters. If the feature is confirmed to be the fallout out of an asteroid strike, it will rank as the 22nd biggest impact crater known on Earth”.
Along century scientists have discovered approximately 200 impact craters on our planet, but this is the second time in history that a crater has been found under an ice sheet or better to say crater under Greenland’s Ice. The first subglacial impact crater buried under Greenland’s Hiawatha Glacier in November which is situated 183 kilometers away from the new site.
For that reason scientists are going on to detect some discoveries connected to subglacial impact crater and inspired by that discovery, a team led by NASA glaciologist Joseph MacGregor started scanning Greenland for other craters. The new crater appears to be larger and older than the Hiawatha impact site.
Both features were spotted using satellite imagery and aerial footage captured by NASA’s Operation IceBridge aircraft fleet.
“The second structure’s morphology is shallower [and] its overlying ice is conformal and older,” MacGregor and his co-authors write in the study. “We conclude that the identified structure is very likely an impact crater, but it is unlikely to be a twin of the Hiawatha impact crater.”
The Hiawatha crater probably formed within the past 100,000 years. Based on the estimated age of its ice sheet cover, it was formed at least 79,000 years ago, the team said. “The possibility of additional subglacial craters beneath the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets should be investigated, as our discovery further emphasizes the ability of ice sheets to both bury and preserve evidence of terrestrial impacts,” the team said.
Source: Text; motherboard.vice.com
Image credit; motherboard.vice.com
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