Earth’s oldest known impact crater found in Greenland

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A 100 kilometer-wide crater has been found in Greenland. The 3 billion year old impact crater – the result of a massive asteroid or comet impact – was found near the Maniitsoq region of West Greenland. The image above is an artist’s interpretation of how a large meteorite impact into the sea might have looked in the first second of the impacting. The Maniitsoq crater is a billion years older than the previously oldest known crater on Earth. The Vredefort crater in South Africa is estimated to be 2 billion years in age.

The crater was discovered by a team of scientists from Cardiff, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) in Copenhagen, Lund University in Sweden and the Institute of Planetary Science in Moscow.

Dr Iain McDonald of Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, says, “This single discovery means that we can study the effects of cratering on the Earth nearly a billion years further back in time than was possible before.”

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