Speed Reads

Discoveries

Scientists have discovered the world's largest asteroid impact zone

You've heard about asteroids, but you've never seen impacts quite this big.

Scientists from the Australian National University (ANU) have discovered an asteroid impact zone that's nearly 248 miles wide in central Australia. The twin-impact zone is the result of an asteroid that broke in half just before hitting the earth.

The researchers found the impact zone while conducting geothermal research that included drilling. They found remnants of the impact, such as free rock that had been turned into glass, inside the Earth's crust. The scientists described the findings in the journal Tectonophysics.

The scientists still don't know how long ago the asteroid impact was, but they believe the event was powerful enough to cause a mass extinction. Andrew Glikson, one of the scientists from ANU, believes the asteroid hit Earth at least 300 million years ago, but the scientists haven't been able to find a known extinction that lines up with the impact zone.

“At this stage, we do not have all the answers,” Glikson told Australia's ABC News, “but there has been a lot of interest, and people are certainly interested in any impact on the dinosaurs.”