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This image shows the crater Pwyll on Europa, a moon of Jupiter. Do you see the pattern of concentric circles? This pattern is not typical of craters on Earth except for the newly discovered crater in the North Sea.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA

A Crater on Earth that Looks out of this World!
News story originally written on August 14, 2002

Scientists studying the rock layers that lie under the North Sea have found a mysterious crater. It doesn’t look like other craters on Earth. It does look like craters that are far away on Europa and Callisto, icy moons of Jupiter!

The crater was formed at about the same time that the dinosaurs and many other living things became extinct. It is twelve miles (20 km) wide and has large concentric rings. A huge meteor, about 400 feet across, plunging into the Earth could form a crater this large. This meteor would have been heavier that 300,000 elephants!

The strange shape of the crater, with many circles within each other, is unlike any craters on Earth. Scientists believe it looks much more like craters of Europa and Castillo than those on Earth. This gives scientists on Earth an opportunity to learn more about how these strange shapes form.


Last modified August 14, 2002 by Lisa Gardiner.

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