Brevia

The Kamil Crater in Egypt

Science  22 Jul 2010:

DOI: 10.1126/science.1190990

Abstract

We report on the detection in southern Egypt of an impact crater 45 meters in diameter with a pristine rayed structure. Such pristine structures are typically observed on atmosphereless rocky or icy planetary bodies in the solar system. This feature and the association with an iron meteorite impactor and shock metamorphism provide a unique picture of small-scale hypervelocity impacts on the Earth's crust. Contrary to current geophysical models, ground data indicate that iron meteorites with masses of the order of tens of tons can penetrate the atmosphere without significant fragmentation.