A research team in Egypt has identified a “fresh” crater thought to be formed by a crashed iron meteor, could mean incoming space rocks would hit earth in bigger chunks than we once suspected.
The Italian-Egyptian team that found the crater in pictures recently visited and studied the 147-foot-wide (45-meter-wide), 52-foot-deep (16-meter-deep) hole. The team also collected thousands of pieces of the space rock that littered the surrounding desert.
Current impact models state that iron meteors around this size and mass should break into smaller chunks before impact. (Related: “Comet ‘Shower’ Killed Ice Age Mammals?”)
Instead, the existence of the newfound crater implies that up to 35 percent of these iron giants may actually survive whole—and thus have greater destructive power.