Impacts and Craters

This page is still under construction.

 So what of comets that destroy life? How often do we have these close encounters with space debris? Although we know that such events of Chicxulub occur we have very little experience with such events. Many know of the Siberia event, where a small asteroid or meteorite exploded over land, but what are some of the other close calls that we have had? On this page you will find some of these events along with some craters where we have had encounters with these objects. 

  There are approximately 180 known craters on our earth that have been identified. I was curious to where some of these craters were. In my searching I found some information on objects that made it to earth and some that didn't, but instead exploded in our atmosphere. One such explosion was the Chicago fire of 1871.

October 8, 1871 Chicago was ablaze with fire. That same evening and that same hour about 12 other separate fires hit four states. That night the town of Pestigo with 1700 residents was wiped out by fire. The loss of life and property in the Chicago fire seemed dim as this town was destroyed. 1200 people died between 7 and 8 p.m. as a fire blast swept through the town knocking them off there feet. At the time of these fires astronomers watching the fading comet Biala?, whose orbit was close to earth. Also meteorite activity was viewed before the fires began. 

June 30, 1908 London. Bright Southeast twilight allowed people to read well after midnight because it was so bright. At that time in the Tunguska region of Siberia, had almost 800 square miles that were destroyed. In 1961 meteorite fragments were found in that area, proving that the area had been devastated by a small asteroid or comet that exploded in our atmosphere. Also found in the area was a high concentration of iridium. Iridium is found on earth, but only in small traces, it is found in high levels on meteorites and other rocks from space.

November 9, 1923 Harvey Nininger, a biology teacher near Coldwater Kansas, saw a meteor, "Suddenly a blazing stream of fire pierced  the sky."(Comets, Asteroids, and Meteorites by Time Life Books page 108) The American Meteorite Laboratory in Denver, was founded by him in 1937.

1930's in a Brazilian Jungle there was an explosion in the sky, which set the forest on fire. 1800 square miles of forest was destroyed from this object exploding in the atmosphere.

Craters, Impacts, and Falls

Name Location Information
Sudbury Impact Basin Sudbury Ontario, Canada Formed 1.9 billion years ago? 125 miles wide. It is the 2nd oldest. Rich with nickel. 
Holleford Crater Kingston, Ontario, Canada 550 million years old. 20 miles from Kingston.
Vredefort Crater South Africa 1.97 billion years old. Oldest known crater
Chicxulub Crater Merida, Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula See Chicxulub Crater page
Barringer Meteor Crater Arizona, USA 50,000 years old diameter 4,100 feet wide.

See this CRP

Aorounga Craters Chad, Africa A string of craters approximately 200 million years old
Wolfe Creek Wolf Creek, Australia .544 miles wide about 300,000 years old
Roter Kamm Nambia, Southwest Africa 1.55 miles wide
Mistastin Lake Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada 17.4 miles wide
Manicouagan Quebec, Canada 62 miles wide
Clearwater Lakes
(Twin impacts)
Quebec, Canada one is about 20 miles wide and the other is about 14 miles wide.
Deep Bay Saskatchewan ,Canada 8 miles wide
Bosumtwi Bosumtwi, Ghana about 7miles wide
Gosses Bluff Northern Territory, Australia about 14 miles wide
Kara-Kul Tajikistan 28 miles wide, less than 10 million years old
Odessa Crater Odessa, Texas Series of Meteorite craters
Ensisheim fall Austria Meteorite fall in 1492
Pultusk Peas Pultusk, Poland January 30, 1868 This village was showered with meteorites
1947 fall Sikhote-Alin Mountains, Siberia February 12, 1947 meteorites fell from the sky.
Mailbox hit Claxton, Georgia December 10, 1984 about 36 meteorites fell on this town. One hit a mailbox denting it.
Peekskill 1992 Peekskill, New York October 10, 1992 a meteorite hit a Chevy Malibu.
Ireland fall Northern Ireland April 25, 1969 three meteorites 
Mexico Chihuahua, Mexico February 8, 1969 many meteorites fell after a bright fireball was seen.
Human strike Sylacauga, Alabama On November 30, 1954 a meteorite fell through the roof of Mrs. E. Hewlett Hodge's house, hit a radio then bounced off the radio and hit Mrs. Hodge as she slept on the couch. She received a huge bruise.
Roof strike Weatherfield, Connecticut April 8, 1971 a meteorite crashed and stuck in a families ceiling.
Egypt fall Nakhla, Egypt June 28, 1911 several meteorites fell. One was reported to have hit and killed a dog.

Close Calls coming soon!!!

Helpful Related Links

Impacts Dangerous Deep Impact
Terrestrial Impact Craters Close Approaches

Comet Resource Page



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