Most of the craters formed by the pits made by meteorites that fell to Earth date back ten or a hundred million years. The largest known crater in the world so far is a 300-kilometer-wide crater in South Africa. But this 2 billion-year-old crater is so old that not much is visible of the remaining traces.
The number of new craters, whose traces are much clearer, is very few. There are about 190 impact craters on Earth, but most of them are known to have been removed by erosion. But Chinese researchers have found the largest meteorite crater trace humanity has ever seen. The crater in question is located in one of China's best-preserved forest areas, northwest of Yilan city in Heilongjiang province.
Yilan crater is crescent-shaped, 1,85 kilometers in diameter and 579 meters deep. A study published in Meteoritics & Planetary Science notes that only a small portion of the southern tip of the crater is missing, while the rest are well preserved. This geological structure, which the local people know very well but has not been studied until now, is thought to have been formed by a meteorite with a diameter of about 49 meters, 100 thousand years ago, according to the carbon test.
The researchers compared the available data on the craters and determined that this was the largest meteorite impact on Earth in the last 100 years. At the time of the impact, Heilongjiang was covered with dense forests inhabited by many mammals. Traces of human activity have also been discovered, meaning the locals experienced this disaster alive. Given the size of the meteorite, it is estimated that the shock was also felt in Siberia and remote parts of Asia.
Source: China International Radio