German researchers have discovered an unusual two kilometer structure in the ice of Antarctica which might be a hundred-ton meteorite.
By a stroke of luck during a routine expedition by a group of scientists working for Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources -geophysicist Christian Müller looked out from the airplane window they were travelling in and spotted something on the ice shelf.
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The view excited him and his colleagues. A large ring-shaped fracture suggests that a large meteorite had descended. Müller estimates the size of the structure in the ice to be about two kilometers.
Spiegel Online reports:
“No one in our team is an expert on impact processes,” says British geophysicist Graeme Eagles. He is the leader of the expedition – and says in an email to SPIEGEL ONLINE to be cautious. So far, we know very little about cosmic collisions with floating ice.
The structure found reminds you of other impact craters on Earth . “But we also know that this alone is not sufficient for evidence of an impact,” said Bell. Perhaps there are other processes that may be responsible for the find on the ice shelf. On the other hand, his team so far have no idea what other processes could have caused this. “We are in a very early phase of work on this thing. “
Researchers estimate the weight of the meteorite to be around 600 to 1,900 tons. Only once per decade does something of this size strike the earth.