Largest Crater In The Great Sahara Discovered

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Largest Crater In The Great Sahara Discovered

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Researchers from Boston University have discovered the remnants of the largest crater of the Great Sahara of North Africa, which may have been formed by a meteorite impact tens of millions of years ago. Dr. Farouk El-Baz made the discovery while studying satellite images of the Western Desert of Egypt with his colleague, Dr. Eman Ghoneim, at BU's Center for Remote Sensing.

Landsat image (color composite) of the Kebira Crater in the Western Desert of Egypt at the border with Libya. The outer rim of the crater is 31 km in diameter. (Courtesy of Boston University Center for Remote Sensing)The double-ringed crater – which has an outer rim surrounding an inner ring – is approximately 31 kilometers in diameter. Prior to the latest finding, the Sahara's biggest known crater, in Chad, measured just over 12 kilometers. According to El-Baz, the Center's director, the crater’s vast area suggests the location may have been hit by a meteorite the entire size of the famous Meteor (Barringer) Crater in Arizona which is 1.2 kilometers wide.

El-Baz named his find “Kebira,” which means “large” in Arabic and also relates to the crater’s physical location on the northern tip of the Gilf Kebir region in southwestern Egypt. The reason why a crater this big had never been found before is something the scientists are speculating.

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Large crater measuring 31km diameter and probably formed tens of millions of years ago by a meteor impact.

Landsat image (color composite) of the Kebira Crater in the Western Desert of Egypt at the border with Libya. The outer rim of the crater is 31 km in diameter. (Courtesy of Boston University Center for Remote Sensing)

crater.jpg - 22.23kb
By YCON: posted on 5-3-2006








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