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7 Biggest Asteroids That Hit Earth

Updated on February 19, 2013

The asteroid that hit Russia on February 15th 2013 was estimated to be 49 feet wide, leaving a crater that was 26 feet wide and injuring about 1,100 people in Russia. It was said to have exploded on the Ural Mountains with the power of an atom bomb. If you thought that this was one of the biggest asteroids to hit earth, wait till you read some of the big boys who hit earth with an impact that could change the face of earth.

In history, there have been millions of meteorites and asteroids that have hit earth and have deeply impacted the earth’s face. Take for example, the meteorites that supposedly annihilated the dinosaurs. However, here is a list of the places that were impacted in a massive way due to some of the biggest asteroids/meteorites. The list here is in the ascending order of crater size.

1) Chesapeake Bay Crater

This asteroid was discovered in the 1980s and was estimated to have hit earth about 35 million years ago. The asteroid crater is located in Virginia, approximately 125 miles from Washington, D.C, in United States. The width of the crater is estimated to be 85 km or 53 miles.

2) Popigai Crater

This crater was discovered by the Russians as the Popigai crater is located in Siberia, Russia. The asteroid is estimated to have hit the country about 35.7 million years ago. The scientists claimed that the crater contains trillions of carats of diamonds. In fact, it is considered one of the largest diamond deposits on earth. The diamonds formed are called impact diamonds.

3) Manicouagan Crater

This crater can be found in Quebec, Canada and is estimated to be approximately 215 million years old. Today’s Lake Manicouagan is formed by this crater. The crater has definitely eroded over time. However, even with erosion, this crater is considered one of the best-preserved and largest craters in the world. The estimated diameter of the crater is 100 km (62 miles).

4) Woodleigh Crater

One of the biggest asteroids to hit earth impacted Western Australia. The Woodleigh crater is formed due to this meteor impact. Due to incomplete exposure of the crater at the surface, there are many discrepancies regarding its actual size. However, the diameter of the crater is estimated to range from 40 - 120 km (25 to 75 miles).

5) Sudbury Basin

This is another crater that is considered one of the biggest and oldest impact structures on earth. The crater was formed by a meteor impact in Ontario, Canada approximately 1.8 billion years ago. The diameter of the Sudbury basin is estimated to be 130 km (81 miles).

6) Vredefort Crater

Also called the Vredefort Dome, this crater can be found in South Africa. The crater is estimated to have formed about 2 billion years and has an estimated diameter of 190 km or 118 miles, currently making it the largest known impact structure in the world. The crater was also declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

7) Chicxulub Crater

This crater was formed in theYucatán peninsula, Mexico. Many scientists believe that the meteors that caused this crater were either directly responsible or had a part to play in the extinction of dinosaurs. The estimated diameter of the crater ranges from 170 to 300 kilometers (106 to a massive 186 miles). If this estimate is proven to be correct, this would be the biggest meteor impact on earth.

Now that you have read about some of the biggest asteroids to hit earth, you can imagine the impact they have caused on earth.


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    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      thanks a lot Torrillyn :)

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago


      thanks for this very informative hub here.

      when I heard about the asteroid I was initialy shocked but

      not surprised that this has happened. thanks for sharing other asteroids

      that have hit Earth as well and also for including a lot of detail.

      voted up.

    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      ib radmasters: Good question.. If I am right, large water bodies were formed due to the craters formed by meteors and oceans. And there may have been numerous asteroids that have hit these water bodies.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

      How many asteroids have hit the ocean, as the earth is seventy five percent water.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      interesting!! i really loved this article. i've learned some inportant facts about history.

    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 4 years ago from India

      Thanks a lot for the appreciation Vinayak :)

    • vinayak1000 profile image

      vinayak1000 4 years ago from Minneapolis

      Nice! I always enjoying reading these types of hubs on astronomy, etc. Voting this up and useful!