(ORDO NEWS) — In a unique location in southeastern Wyoming, US, more than 30 craters are concentrated, which were formed about 280 million years ago.
They arose as a result of the impact of a large meteorite, from which smaller parts broke off during the fall.
“Secondary craters around larger craters are well known on other planets and moons,” the scientists say, “but have never been seen before on Earth.”
According to the researchers, individual craters have a diameter of 10 to 70 meters.
When the researchers first spotted the crater zone, they suspected that some kind of asteroid had broken up in the air, and the rocks had crashed into the ground just below it.
Further study showed that some of the craters were grouped into small areas. In addition, some craters are elliptical rather than circular, suggesting a different history of their formation.
The craters also appear to be aligned in radiant patterns, meaning they most likely originated from debris scattered around a central primary crater, which in turn formed from the initial impact.
Finding the source crater will not be an easy task. Scientists suggest that it is buried deep in sediment somewhere near the Wyoming-Nebraska border in an area called the Denver Basin.
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