First known terrestrial impact of a binary asteroid from a main belt breakup event.

Sci Rep 2014 Oct 23;4:6724. Epub 2014 Oct 23.

Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Department, 550 Stadium Mall Drive, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2051, USA.

Approximately 470 million years ago one of the largest cosmic catastrophes occurred in our solar system since the accretion of the planets. A 200-km large asteroid was disrupted by a collision in the Main Asteroid Belt, which spawned fragments into Earth crossing orbits. This had tremendous consequences for the meteorite production and cratering rate during several millions of years following the event. The 7.5-km wide Lockne crater, central Sweden, is known to be a member of this family. We here provide evidence that Lockne and its nearby companion, the 0.7-km diameter, contemporaneous, Målingen crater, formed by the impact of a binary, presumably 'rubble pile' asteroid. This newly discovered crater doublet provides a unique reference for impacts by combined, and poorly consolidated projectiles, as well as for the development of binary asteroids.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep06724DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5381370PMC
October 2014
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