Scientists identify 'earth's oldest asteroid crater' with 'potential links to climate change' in Australia

Jacob Jarvis

Scientists believe they have found the world's oldest asteroid crater in Australia.

Researchers have put a precise age on the Yarrabubba crater in the west of the nation, determining it was formed 2.229 billion years ago.

"This new, precise date establishes Yarrabubba as the oldest recognised impact structure on Earth," researchers from Curtin University said.

"It is some 200 million years older than the next oldest, the Vredefort impact in South Africa."

A zircon crystal used to date the crater (Curtin University)

They determined its age by looking at minerals in rocks which had been shocked by the impact of the asteroid.

The teams discovered crystals and inspected these, which allowed them to determine how long ago they had been rocked by the hit of the object.

Along with this, the team has also pontificated that perhaps the asteroid hit coincided with a global thawing.

"More intriguing, the geological record shows the Earth had glacial ice before the time of the impact – but afterwards, ice disappeared for hundreds of millions of years," they said.

"Was the Yarrabubba impact a trigger for global climate change?"

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