Scientists Found the World's Oldest-Known Meteor Crash Site
Wed, April 21, 2021

Scientists Found the World's Oldest-Known Meteor Crash Site

 

Dating meteor sites is difficult for many scientists primarily because of the geological changes that occur at these sites. Thus, the new study published in the journal Nature Communications revealing the oldest-known meteor crash site in the world is a huge success for them. Scientists have long suspected that the Yarrabubba crater in western Australia dated back billions of years but they weren’t able to provide concrete evidence -- until now.

 

Photo Credits: The Silicon Review

 

To prove their theory, the scientists dug up minerals at the site and looked for traces of “shock recrystallization,” giving them clues as to when the meteor changed the structure of materials in the ground. After that, they searched for microscopic grains that contain uranium inside them using a high-tech scanning process known as Sensitive High-Resolution Ion Micro Probe (SHRIMP). The scientists needed to know if there was uranium present at the site because it would help them determine an estimated date of a geological event since the mineral gradually decays into lead at a known rate.

 

Photo Credits: All That's Interesting

 

According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, the findings of the study showed that the Yarrabubba crater formed more than 2.2 billion years ago. Meanwhile, the Vredefort crater in South Africa, the next-oldest crater site in the world, is about 200 million years younger than the Yarrabubba. 

 

Photo Credits: All That's Interesting

 

The scientists suspect that the space rock that crashed into the crash site caused the warming of the planet. However, there’s not enough evidence to support this theory. “Glacial deposits are absent from the rock record for around 400 million years after the Yarrabubba impact. The impact fits within the context of Earth moving out of frigid conditions,” author Chris Kirkland, a professor at Curtin University’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said. 
 

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