Ancient asteroid crater found off the coast of Scotland

The spot where an ancient asteroid hit the United Kingdom some 1.2 billion years ago has been tracked to a location under the sea between mainland Scotland and the Western Isles.

Researchers at Oxford and Aberdeen universities discovered signs of the violent collision in Scotland back in 2008, but they only recently pinpointed where the gigantic rock came down.

After testing rocks near Ullapool in northwest Scotland, scientists confirmed that an object about one mile wide crashed into the ground zooming at 38,000 miles per hour,The Guardian reports.

The collision left a 12-mile-wide crater and happened when most life on Earth was in the oceans and the continents were arranged in a very different way from the present day.

A field photo taken at Stoer showing the laminar beds of sandstone, in the middle of which is the impact deposit left by the asteroid. (Handout/PR)

A field photo taken at Stoer showing the laminar beds of sandstone, in the middle of which is the impact deposit left by the asteroid. (Handout/PR)(Handout/PR)

“The impact would have sent huge roiling clouds of dust and gas at several hundred degrees in all directions from the impact site,” Ken Amor, an Oxford researcher who led the latest study, told the British news site.

What remains of the crater is submerged in water that’s 600-feet deep and covered in sediment, scientists said.

The Guardian reports that asteroids of that size are believed to strike between once every 100,000 years and once every 1 million years.

The study was published in the Journal of the Geologic Society.

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