It appears that about 460 million years ago two meteorites struck the Earth creating enormous crates in the province of Jämtland, Sweden, according to experts.
Swedish researchers at the University of Gothenburg say that Jämtland used to be 500 meters below the water before the meteorite impact occurred approximately 460 million years ago. Two meteorites struck the Earth simultaneously, which is very unlikely to happen on a regular basis and, according to experts, this might be the first double impact that has been proven by scientists.
The reason why these are considered simultaneous impacts is mainly because the sediment that has accumulated over time above the two craters appears to have the same age, explains Erik Sturkell, a Professor at the University of Gothenburg. The first layer of sediment that was deposited just after the impact as well as the following sequence of layers were identical in both craters.
Sturkell says that about 470 million years ago there was a collision of two asteroids in the asteroid belt located roughly between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. Because of this forceful collision, fragments of the asteroids were thrown into space, many of which collapsed on Earth. The two meteorites from Jämtland crashed into the water.
After the impact “The water rushed back in, bringing with it fragments from the meteorites mixed with material that had been ejected during the explosion and with the gigantic wave that tore away parts of the sea bed,” explains professor Sturkell.
Found at about 20 kilometres away from Östersund in Brunflo, the larger crater was gigantic and measured about 7.5 kilometres in diameter. The smaller crater had a diameter of 700 meters and was located 16 kilometres away form Östersund. The craters are both located at a relatively close distance from one another.
Researchers have found several other meteorites on Kinnekulle, a ridge or hill in the Västergötland province, Sweden. Over the past fifteen years, an impressive number of approximately 90 meteorites were found on that specific ridge. Experts explain that on one hand big meteorites do not survive the fall and they normally disintegrate through explosion and burn up when they enter the Earth’s atmosphere. On the other hand small meteorites are more likely to remain intact after the fall.
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