A team consisting of international researchers has verified the discovery of the impact crater of the first ever meteorite, to get found below the ice sheet of Greenland. It is found below the Hiawatha Glacier. As per the Goddard Space Flight Center of NASA, the crater is close to 1000 feet deep and 19 miles wide. Most probably, it was formed when around half a mile wide iron meteorite managed to strike northwest Greenland less than three millions years back. NASA said that back then, it was covered in ice, hence hiding it from the view. A team containing researchers from the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for GeoGenetics, while they were at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, first managed to sport the crater in July 2015.
The researchers were carrying out inspections on a new map of the topography well below the ice sheet of Greenland, which is created through penetration of ice through radar data. That is the point of time when they noticed a circular depression lying under the Hiawatha Glacier. They had the suspicion that it was basically a crater. They started to spend the last three years in examining data from NASA and also work along with the colleagues in the United States. They wanted to verify their findings, which got published in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday. A professor named Kurt Kjaer is a professor at the Center for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark and also the lead author of the study. He said that the crater is incredibly well maintained and that is really surprising. This is so because glacier ice is a highly efficient agent, which is erosive in nature, which would have been able to quickly remove the trails of the impact. Kjaer said that the impact might well have occurred right at the end of the last ice age and that would make it within the youngest on the planet.
The Greenland Ice Sheet covers the Hiawatha impact crater. It flows well beyond the crater rim, hence forming a semi-circular agent. A segment of this edge along with a tongue of ice tends to breach through the rim of the crater. NASA said that the team of researchers plans to keep investigating exactly how the impact of the meteor could affect the planet as a whole.
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