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Mar 21 / Dave Schumaker

Discovering Asteroid Impacts from Home

I recently came across this story posted on March 6th that tells how a group at used Google Earth to find promising signs of previously unknown impact craters on our planet. This is similar to the story of an Italian randomly using Google Earth last summer and finding the remains of an ancient Roman Villa in his hometown.

Emilio González used Google Earth to look at a recently discovered impact crater in the Sahara Desert. “I thought that logically the silhoute would be hard to appreciate and that would be the reason it took so much time to discover, but following the article guidelines I went directlt [sic] to Egypt/Libya border and in less than a minute I perfectly saw the structure.”

Curious to see if he could spot any similar structures in the desert, he began to have a look around. “Suddenly the questions came to me. No one saw this before? How can a 31 km diameter structure not be noticed? So I decided to explore around for a while to check for similar structures. Just passed the Libyan border entering Chad at 121 miles “flying” high when another circular structure appeared in my screen. A closer look was showing, apparently, a typical impact structure, not volcanic. Of course, finding an impact crater has no merit if it is an already known one, so I had to check and visited the Canadian Brunswick University impact crater database, in Canada, and none of the listed matched my discovery.”

His email correspondance with geologists yields some promising results, however no one can be sure until actual field work is done at the locations to examine physical evidence on the ground.

For those using Google Earth, you can download a KMZ file that will list roughly 170 impact craters located around Earth. Check it out.

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