It's the size of the largest asteroid in Earth history. It's bigger than the one that killed the dinosaurs

It's the size of the largest asteroid in Earth history. It's bigger than the one that killed the din

The largest asteroid ever hit the Earth and crashed into the planet about two billion years ago may have been more than scientists thought. Based on the size of the Vredefort crater in modern South Africa, researchers estimated that the giant space stone was about twice as large as the asteroid that destroyed the Neavian dinosaurs.

The Vredefort crater is about 120 km south-west of Johannesburg and is now 159 km in diameter, making it the largest visible crater on Earth, yet it is smaller than the Crater Chixulub on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, which is about 180 km in diameter and left behind by an asteroid that killed dinosaurs at the end of the chalk period, about 66 million years ago.

The problem is that the impact craters slowly break down over time, which causes them to compress, and according to recent estimates, the original diameter of the crater was between 250 and 280 km when it was formed two billion years ago, and as a result, it is the one that should be considered the largest impact crater on Earth, even though today it is smaller than the Chickslub.

In the past, scientists thought that the crater Vredefort was initially much smaller — about 172 km wide — based on this estimate, researchers estimated that the asteroid responsible for the collision would be about 15 km in the cross-section, and it encountered a planet at about 539,000 km/h. But as part of a new study, scientists revised the size of the crater and gained a new idea of the size of the huge space stone.

Researchers recalculated the size of the Vredefort asteroid and found that the size of the space stone ranged from 20 to 25 km across and was moving from 72000 to 900,000 km/h when it crashed into the planet.