European and Russian geologists found near the town of Maniitsoq in Greenland ancient crater on Earth one hundred kilometers in diameter, which arose as a result of the fall of thirty-kilometer asteroid, 3 billion years ago.
The head of a group of scientists Iain McDonald (Ian MacDonald) from the University of the United Kingdom said: "This is a rare discovery means that we can now explore the consequences of bombardment of the planet in the form of a crater that formed a billion years earlier than previously thought. Took us three years to convince the scientific community and colleagues. industrialists were the most gullible - A Canadian company began studying the crater, trying to find deposits of platinum and nickel, even in the past year. "
McDonald and his colleagues, including the Russian scientist Boris Ivanov from Moscow Institute of Geosphere Dynamics RAS, made this discovery during an expedition to the south side of Greenland in 2010-2011
The researchers note that the crater was discovered by accident geologist Adam Garde of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, one of the authors of the article - in 2009, when he was commissioned by one of the mining Danish companies analyzed geological maps of the area of the city Maniitsoq.
The structure of the rocks of the area Garde found strange anomalies, which seemed like a trail of super-powerful meteorite impact. It is connected to the study of his colleagues from Sweden, England and Russia, who have committed to the area Maniitsoq two expeditions, and gathered detailed information about the structure of the strange formation, as well as his other qualities.
McDonald said: "The process of learning like a detective with the participation of Sherlock Holmes. All possible earth processes we gradually discarded as impossible and found that this anomaly is a huge trail of a meteorite impact."
The researchers note that the rocks were formed by a meteorite impact site about 3 billion years ago. Equally impressive age of the crater explains why there is no bowl-shaped crater familiar form. According to researchers, in this period of time Greenland has experienced several ice ages of the formation and the mountains, which is likely to destroy all prints of a meteorite impact, in addition to the deformation in rocks that were caused by the shock wave.
Under assumptions of geologists, this track was the result of an asteroid collision diameter of more than thirty miles away from our planet. If a meteorite fell into the territory of the continent, after it was left to funnel diameter, about six kilometers, which is two times more than the previous record-holder in South Africa - Vredefort crater. Geologists say that the celestial body of this size can destroy the territory of mid-size to Earth and kill all higher life forms.
Also, scientists believe that the discovery will help astrophysicists and planetary scientists better understand the environment in which the planets and meteorites formed during adolescence solar system.