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Meteor mega-hit spawned Australian continent: researchers
AFP on Yahoo ^ | 6/2/06 | AFP

Posted on 06/03/2006 3:23:27 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A meteor's roaring crash into Antarctica -- larger and earlier than the impact that killed the dinosaurs -- caused the biggest mass extinction in Earth's history and likely spawned the Australian continent, scientists said.

Ohio State University scientists said the 483-kilometer-wide (300-mile-wide) crater is now hidden more than 1.6 kilometers (one mile) beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.

"Gravity measurements that reveal its existence suggest that it could date back about 250 million years -- the time of the Permian-Triassic extinction, when almost all animal life on Earth died out," the university said in a statement Thursday.

"Its size and location -- in the Wilkes Land region of East Antarctica, south of Australia -- also suggest that it could have begun the breakup of the Gondwana supercontinent by creating the tectonic rift that pushed Australia northward," they added.

Scientists believe that the Permian-Triassic extinction paved the way for the dinosaurs to rise to prominence.

The Wilkes Land crater is more than twice the size of the Chicxulub crater in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, which marks the impact that may have ultimately killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

The Chicxulub meteor is thought to have been 9.6 kilometers (six miles) wide, while the Wilkes Land meteor could have been up to 48.3 kilometers (30 miles) wide -- four or five times wider.

"This Wilkes Land impact is much bigger than the impact that killed the dinosaurs, and probably would have caused catastrophic damage at the time," said Ralph von Frese, a professor of geological sciences at Ohio State.

He and Laramie Potts, a postdoctoral researcher in geological sciences, led the team that discovered the crater. They collaborated with other Ohio State and NASA scientists, as well as partners from Russia and South Korea. They reported their preliminary results in a recent American Geophysical Union Joint Assembly meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.

Some 100 million years ago, Australia split from the ancient Gondwana supercontinent and began drifting north, pushed away by expansion of a rift valley into the eastern Indian Ocean. The rift cuts directly through the crater, so the impact may have helped the rift to form, von Frese said.

The more immediate effects of the impact, however, would have devastated life on Earth.

"All the environmental changes that would have resulted from the impact would have created a highly caustic environment that was really hard to endure. So it makes sense that a lot of life went extinct at that time," he said.

Collaborators included Stuart Wells and Orlando Hernandez, graduate students in geological sciences at Ohio State; Luis Gaya-Pique and Hyung Rae Kim, both of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center; Alexander Golynsky of the All-Russia Research Institute for Geology and Mineral Resources of the World Ocean; and Jeong Woo Kim and Jong Sun Hwang, both of Sejong University in South Korea.


TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: australian; continent; godsgravesglyphs; megahit; meteor; researchers; spawned
AFP whack at Wilkes Land impact area.

Space.com thread here

Giant Crater Found [in Antarctica]: Tied to Worst Mass Extinction Ever [Permo-Triassic]

SPACE.com ^ | June 2, 2006 | Robert Roy Britt


Posted on 06/02/2006 11:44:43 AM PDT by cogitator

1 posted on 06/03/2006 3:23:30 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

An April 2006 satellite image from the Australian Bureau of Meterology shows Australia. A meteor's roaring crash into Antarctica -- larger and earlier than the impact that killed the dinosaurs -- caused the biggest mass extinction in Earth's history and likely spawned the Australian continent, scientists said.(AFP/ABM-HO/File)


2 posted on 06/03/2006 3:24:13 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - "The Road to Peace in the Middle East runs thru Damascus.")
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To: NormsRevenge

Pretty cool stuff, KMA butterfly effect.


3 posted on 06/03/2006 3:27:57 PM PDT by kinoxi
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To: NormsRevenge; SunkenCiv

Catastrophism Ping!


4 posted on 06/03/2006 3:29:06 PM PDT by demlosers
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To: NormsRevenge

Pretty cool. It's just too bad Al-Gore wasn't around to help prevent it from happening.


5 posted on 06/03/2006 3:42:51 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (DemocRATS! America's Lynch Mob.)
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To: NormsRevenge

WE ARE DOOMED!


6 posted on 06/03/2006 3:43:47 PM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: NormsRevenge
up to 48.3 kilometers (30 miles) wide

Dang, that's bigger than an SUV!

7 posted on 06/03/2006 3:48:19 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: NormsRevenge
the Permian-Triassic extinction?

I didn't know he was sick!

8 posted on 06/03/2006 4:07:46 PM PDT by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: NormsRevenge

I find this kind of stuff fascinating.


9 posted on 06/03/2006 4:33:30 PM PDT by StJacques
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BIG BANG IN ANTARCTICA -- KILLER CRATER FOUND UNDER ICE
Ohio State University | 01 June 2006 | Staff (press release)
Posted on 06/01/2006 5:26:58 PM EDT by PatrickHenry
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1641966/posts


10 posted on 06/03/2006 4:43:28 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: demlosers; 75thOVI; AndrewC; Avoiding_Sulla; BenLurkin; Berosus; CGVet58; chilepepper; ckilmer; ...
Thanks demlosers.
Catastrophism
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

11 posted on 06/03/2006 4:47:36 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: NormsRevenge
Good afternoon.

I have to believe that here are too many curious people watching the heavens for us to miss a rock this big.

I even believe we could destroy or divert the rock in time.

We might miss a smaller one and it could play hell with life for a while, but I'll worry about other things. For all we know, AlGore might win the Presidency.<.

Michael Frazier
12 posted on 06/03/2006 4:51:30 PM PDT by brazzaville (no surrender no retreat, well, maybe retreat's ok)
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To: NormsRevenge

Thanks for posting the article..fascinating.


13 posted on 06/03/2006 4:51:48 PM PDT by SE Mom (God Bless those who serve.)
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To: NormsRevenge

It seems to me that Michigan's geological substrate suggests that the area took a major direct hit in the pre-dinosaur era. See http://www1.snapfish.com/slideshow/AlbumID=43805012/PictureID=1291284304/a=53099727_53099727/t_=53099727

If so, the rock probably hit some time before 150 MYA, when the area became the center of a great inland sea.


14 posted on 06/03/2006 5:01:56 PM PDT by earglasses (...whereas I was blind, now I hear...)
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To: NormsRevenge

I'll say it again...

Velikovsky would enjoy this news. ;)


15 posted on 06/03/2006 5:19:28 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Wisdom of the Leftist Tao, No.379: Women are men, men are children and children are adults.)
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To: NormsRevenge

"All the environmental changes that would have resulted from the impact would have created a highly caustic environment that was really hard to endure."

Details, we want details! Sulfuric acid or what?


16 posted on 06/03/2006 6:14:20 PM PDT by Domestic Church (AMDG...)
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To: NormsRevenge
"Gravity measurements that reveal its existence suggest that it could date back about 250 million years

How do gravity measurements give a date?
I can understand detecting the crater through ice but how do you come up with a date, and If this crater helped to break up a continent where is the other side of the crater?

17 posted on 06/03/2006 7:05:41 PM PDT by Fraxinus
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To: Fraxinus

How do gravity measurements give a date?

Maybe they were able to figure a depth of the crater and base the age on that, in part? I was wondering the same.


18 posted on 06/03/2006 8:04:49 PM PDT by Imperialist
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To: Imperialist

Likely another result of bad writing in a too-brief mass media science article.


19 posted on 06/03/2006 8:26:30 PM PDT by Strategerist
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To: Strategerist

Yep.


20 posted on 06/03/2006 8:55:59 PM PDT by Imperialist
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To: Fraxinus
How do gravity measurements give a date? I can understand detecting the crater through ice but how do you come up with a date, and If this crater helped to break up a continent where is the other side of the crater?

They don't but oceanic magnetic stripes do (a recording by the solidifying rock at midocean ridges that records the magnetic field at time of extruding magma solifiying--since the magnetic field flips occasionally, they can be used to tell time). If this crater hit 250 million years ago along the plate boundary, there should be remnants 250 million years along the direction that the plates have moved, in both directions. This means that if you take a measurement of oceanic magnetic stripes you should be 250 million years to the plate boundary from the location of the current crater near Antarctica and another 250 million years to the plate boundary from other debris near Australia.

21 posted on 06/03/2006 9:05:25 PM PDT by burzum (Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.--Adm. Rickover)
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To: earglasses

I agree. It was probably a "doublet" impact, that is, multiple, nearly simultaneous impacts from a large body torn apart by an earlier encounter, or by reaching its Roche point during terminal descent, or even more likely, by never having been a single body in the first place, a la TVF. :')

An Asteroid, Cobbled Together
ScienceNOW Daily News | 2 June 2006 | Phil Berardelli
Posted on 06/03/2006 3:34:15 AM EDT by neverdem
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1642717/posts


22 posted on 06/05/2006 9:37:15 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1216757/posts?page=3#3


23 posted on 06/05/2006 9:37:50 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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