Meteors and Craters

Bolide

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This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. | Source

disaster

The word disaster comes from the Greek words meaning "bad star".


Astrologers back then (and still do) make their living from reading meaning into stars that isn't there. A "shooting star" is a popular term for a meteor. A better word is fireball because meteors are not stars. A falling star would not only destroy the Earth but the entire Solar System. Meteors don't do that.


The meteor that hit Russia on Friday 15 February 2013 was a bolide because it was so bright that it out-shined the Sun as it entered the atmosphere. If you follow the link to my Zujava leaf Meteors and other things that go bump in the night, then you can find videos that show the brightness. This is not bad photography or the result of amateurs not getting the cameras settings correct. Most modern hand cams adjust light levels automatically. Also you can see shadows on the ground moving quickly which prove that this is not the photographer doing tricks. The Russian meteor was actually that bright.


Fortunately, no one in Russia was killed but there were injuries from flying glass shards because of the sonic boom.

craters and crater lakes

A crater is a big round hole. A crater lake is simply when that hole fills up with water from rain or melting snow.

Craters are caused by several things. Crater lakes are most commonly created by volcanoes going dormant or extinct and filling up. Less common are impact crater lakes created when a meteor leaves a large hole that then fills up with water.

Sinkholes and strip mines that fill with water are not considered crater lakes.

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

example of a volcanic crater lake
example of a volcanic crater lake

Mount Katmai, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska

This one competes with Crater Lake National Park in terms of beauty since this is also a volvanic crater lake.  The difference is that this volcano is active though no eruptions since the spectacular one of June 1912 that created it.
This one competes with Crater Lake National Park in terms of beauty since this is also a volvanic crater lake. The difference is that this volcano is active though no eruptions since the spectacular one of June 1912 that created it.

satellite image of Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia

This is the largest volcanic crater lake in the world.
This is the largest volcanic crater lake in the world.

impact craters

Impact craters are caused by large meteors hitting the ground with great force.

Manicouagan Reservoir, Canada

This is the largest impact crater lake in the world.
This is the largest impact crater lake in the world.

Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana

Tswaing crater, South Africa

Tswaing crater, South Africa

plant life conceals much

The cover of vegetation hides the details that make it obvious that this is a meteor crater. This is also true of many other meteor lakes.

Pingualuit crater, Quebec

formerly called Chubb Crater and later New Quebec Crater
formerly called Chubb Crater and later New Quebec Crater

Pingualuit crater

formerly called Chubb Crater and later New Quebec Crater
formerly called Chubb Crater and later New Quebec Crater

Lake El'gygytgyn, Russia

Lonar crater lake

Roter Kamm Crater, Namibia

Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater, Australia

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This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. | Source

Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater, Australia

Barringer Crater, Arizona

Barringer Crater


Daniel Barringer suggested in 1903 that the crater was caused by a large meteor impact. In 1960, the Eugene Shoemaker began to confirm the meteor impact hypothesis. Shoemaker's other claim to fame was being a co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9. This comet was non-descript until it hit Jupiter in July 1994. This effectively shut up members of Congress who had ridiculed Spaceguard because if an object this size had hit Earth, there would be no Earth. Almost the entire astronomical community watched through telescopes and many networks carried live feeds.



Barringer Crater was and still is called Meteor Crater though many other craters on Earth have been identified since the identification of Barringer as a meteor crater. It is hard to believe now but it took a lot of proof before people would believe big rocks could fall from the sky. This is despite looking at the heavily cratered moon since time immemorial.




Chicxulub Crater

Chicxulub Crater


The rock that caused this crater circa BC 65 million years is notable for several things:

1. an explosion measured not in equivalent kilotons of TNT or megatons or even gigatons but teratons.

2. a global firestorm (almost oil company levels of destruction)

3. tsunamis larger than anything we have seen

4. earthquakes

5. setting off volcanoes

6. extinction of dinosaurs

7. a major ice age

8. rise of mammals

Humans are still millions of years in the future at this point, a fact to use when rubbing creationists' noses in the fact that they are scientifically illiterate when they joke about dinosaurs co-existing with humans. Dinosaurs were long extinct. The problem is mainly one of imagination. Most people have a hard time imagining a decade (ten years) -- much less a century (100 years) or a millennium (1000 years) or an aeon (1,000,000,000 years). Some people even get angry at the idea that long stretches of time can happen. These are the same people who claim to believe in an infinite God! Apparently, they don't really believe in a Big Creator and a big creation.

Another thing to note about Chicxulub Crater is that craters that are found in or near water are even harder to spot than those on land that are not conveniently located in a desert. Erosion rubs away easy-to-see edges.

Vredefort dome, South Africa

Vredefort dome, South Africa

At around 186.4 miles in diameter, Vredefort dome is the biggest verified impact crater on this planet. An unverified crater is said to be under the ice of Antarctica that is about 300 miles in diameter and is associated with an extinction that dwarfs the one associated with Chicxulub.

If verification was found for the hypothesis that something struck the Earth and left the Pacific Ocean behind, that would be the biggest impact possible because anything larger would destroy the world.

Mimas (moon of Saturn)

Mimas (moon of Saturn)

Mimas (moon of Saturn)

Turgis, Iapetus

Turgis, Iapetus

This crater on this moon in the Saturnine Subsystem is only 360 miles in diameter (still huge by Earth standards) but it is forty percent of a hemisphere of Iapetus.

South Pole-Aitken Basin, Moon

South Pole-Aitken Basin, Moon

South Pole-Aitken Basin on the lunar surface is 1553 miles in diameter.

Valhalla, Callisto

Valhalla, Callisto

The diameter of the outermost concentric ring is 1242 miles.

North Polar Basin also known as the Borealis basin, Mars

North Polar Basin also known as the Borealis basin, Mars

This basin is the largest in the Solar System at 5,300 miles in diameter. It was created by an object larger than Pluto.

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