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How to Discover Impact Craters with Google Earth 158

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the for-fun-and-more-fun dept.
Maikel_NAI writes "Believe it or not, Emilio Gonzalez, a Spaniard amateur began his crater search at home after reading an article about the discovery of Kebira, the biggest one found in the Sahara. After a couple of minutes he located two craters. After checking the records, he realized these were completely new, and now two geologists confirm his findings. And there is more, these craters may be part of a chain studied by NASA geologist Adriana Ocampo, so if it's confirmed that these new ones are part of the same episode, it could mean the definitive evidence for her theory of an asteroid broken into pieces fallen in that area."
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How to Discover Impact Craters with Google Earth

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  • Google Earth (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gcnaddict (841664) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @10:34AM (#14897960)
    Ok, so we can easily find anomalies caused by nature, but how about anomalies caused by us? I mean things like Area 51 and nuclear bomb test sites... I wouldn't mind seeing a few of those.
    • Re:Google Earth (Score:4, Informative)

      by gellenburg (61212) <george@ellenburg.org> on Saturday March 11, 2006 @10:37AM (#14897969) Homepage Journal
      Area 51 is very visible from Google Earth, jus that there's not much to see except a very long runway and some hangars.
    • by AnonymousPrick (956548) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @10:39AM (#14897977)
      Area 51 workers suing Gov. [abovetopsecret.com]

      From the TV specials that I've seen about this, it looks like area 51 was an R&D facility for rockets, planes, and other weapons. Unfortunatley, that requires a lot of toxic chemicals. Also, the workers would burn a lot of the failed projects so that they wouldn't be discovered. Like many areas of the US, one of the biggest polluters is the US Government.

    • Re:Google Earth (Score:5, Informative)

      by Altima(BoB) (602987) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @10:39AM (#14897979)
      Both of those are visible in Google Earth quite easily. Try checking the menu on the left and activating the Google community tabs, especially "military." Enthusiasts point out things like military bases, notable vehicles or facilities and, yes, nuclear test sites. There's an area where you can clearly see many of them in the American west.

      Speaking of other manmade items found on google, last september a man found ruins of a roman villa near his house via Google Earth. [nature.com] It is proving itself to be a very fun and useful tool indeed.
      • It seems like the OSS idea of "Many eyeballs" is doing what it should do.

        In this case, the skill requirements to participate are essentially zero, so every extra eyeball can potentially give us great results.

        woo hoo!

        (Just don't point out the nuclear silos. They hate when you do that.)
      • Re:Google Earth (Score:4, Insightful)

        by radtea (464814) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @12:49PM (#14898499)
        Try checking the menu on the left and activating the Google community tabs, especially "military." Enthusiasts point out things like military bases, notable vehicles or facilities and, yes, nuclear test sites.

        Zoom in on the coastline of southern Cuba and you'll see a narrow bay cutting deeply into the shore. With a little imagination you can almost see the IVth, Vth and VIth ammendments of the Constitution of the United States of America being violated.

        I don't know if these sorts of out-of-date images of military installations have any practical value, but they do give a certain valuable sense of reality regarding the existence of places that many people would like us to ignore, or forget. It's hard to think of the prison camp where innocent people are being incarcerated without trial[*] as being "out of sight, out of mind" when you can fire up Google Earth and see it plain as day.

        [*] Do the math: there are 500+ people there, mostly captured in battlefield conditions in villages and farms. We know the cops, in the best of circumstances, sometimes get the wrong guy. We know the courts, in even better circumstances, sometimes convict the wrong person. So we no with what would be ordinarily called certainty that a non-trivial number of innocent people are being held, indefinitely, without trial, without legal recourse. Even with the most generous assumptions the number comes out to 25 or so. The only question is: are the goals being pursued so valuable and the means being used to pursue them so valuable as to justify the certain incarceration of innocents? "Is life so dear, and peace so sweet..?"
      • No high quality photos in Google Maps/Earth though of Bremerton Naval Shit^hpyard or Subbase Bangor... I'm suprised that Google has high res ones of Point Loma.

        You still don't want to drive around BNS with a camera visible in your car...
    • Re:Google Earth (Score:4, Interesting)

      by value_added (719364) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @11:08AM (#14898084)
      Ok, so we can easily find anomalies caused by nature, but how about anomalies caused by us?

      Well, dunno if you'd consider any of this [hbo.com] as an anomaly, but it's an equally topical use of Google's map technology (season premier is tomorrow, kids).

      Maybe someone can find Jimmy Hoffa?
    • Im with you on that one i would not mind seeing those areas too, so where are they?
    • Some guy already discovered a new set of Roman ruins [nature.com] in Italy with Google maps.

      Get yourself Google Earth [google.com] and look around. I'm sure a couple of google searches will tell you where most of the nuclear tests have taken place.

      This map [atomicarchive.com] will even show you where they've taken place.

      I wouldn't even be surprised if many of these things are already cataloged someplace for Google Earth.

      Cheers
    • I don't have a fast computer, so I can't use Google earth. However, I wonder how small a scale it goes? For example, just North of Silute Lithuania, is a hill named Barzdunas Kalnas (Barzdunas Hill.) On that hill is a set of craters, some of which look like they were bomb craters from WWII, when American planes were making bombing runs at a German munitions factory.

      They look like . ^ . ^ .

      However, near them is another set of 3 craters, like

      * */
      * /

      with a road running across where the slashes are.

      Those
  • CoralCached (Score:5, Informative)

    by VisceralLogic (911294) <paul@viscerallo g i c . com> on Saturday March 11, 2006 @10:42AM (#14897986) Homepage
    Just in case Coral Cache version [nyud.net]
  • Historical views (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mgkimsal2 (200677) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @10:42AM (#14897987) Homepage
    I know we don't have the previous satellite images from years gone by, but would it be practical to use some sort of image diffing program to look for changes in satellite imagery in the future? Yes, you'd get all the new building activity and whatnot, but we should also be able to tell when new craters hit (or other bigger changes happen) automatically. 'course, I've no idea how often global satellite images are updated, or how long it takes, so it might not be practical any time soon... Hundred years or so from now, it would be fun (if nothing else) to watch movies of how areas changed, both from direct human changes (buildings, etc) and from natural forces (coastal erosion and so on).
    • Re:Historical views (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mordors9 (665662)
      You certainly would think that the government would be running an algorithm on the satellite photos that would detect any serious change in what it was seeing. If not to see if California had fallen into the Ocean yet, then to see troops massing along a border somewhere...
      • Re:Historical views (Score:4, Informative)

        by Twanfox (185252) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @11:19AM (#14898131)
        The problem with Google earth and Google maps for such a 'real time' analysis such as troops massing is that the photos presented and used are not current. They're not even close to current. I think the images taken for the area surrounding my home is at least a year or more old, based on new construction in the area that does not show in the satellite photos. That building started to go up early last year. Troops massing could be done far faster than those images refresh, if they refresh at all.

        Besides, the military has earth-watching satellites for their own private use to watch for such things. They need not rely on a civilian tool for it.
        • The Google satellite view of my house is at least 8 years old.
        • The satellite pictures of my house [komar.org] were shot in the summer/2002 - quite easy to tell since we had a major drought that year.

          Sure, real-time satellite imagery would be cool, but realistically, I doubt the government is going to share that ... plus allow you to task one of their birds for an overflight of your house/crater/etc.

        • Neither "Google Earth" nor "Google Maps" is satellite data. Ok, that's not entirely correct: some of the data came from satellites, but much of the closest in information comes from overflight pictures. It is simply impractical to use satellites to obtain detailed close up pictures over the scale needed for say.. continental coverage (or at least, has been until very recently.)

          Assuming that there even are satellite images for the highest resolutions for either of those services, it should be possible to
    • Re:Historical views (Score:2, Informative)

      by tyme (6621)
      mgkimsal2 [slashdot.org] wrote:


      I know we don't have the previous satellite images from years gone by, but would it be practical to use some sort of image diffing program to look for changes in satellite imagery in the future? Yes, you'd get all the new building activity and whatnot, but we should also be able to tell when new craters hit (or other bigger changes happen) automatically. 'course, I've no idea how often global satellite images are updated, or how long it takes, so it might not be practical any time soon...

    • Re:Historical views (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 11, 2006 @11:50AM (#14898259)
      The short answer: Yes, we've had that for a looong time. Google Earth is neat, and it's great that home-users now how access to this kind of data, but this field (called remote sensing) is well established with some amazing capabilities.

      What you're talking about is called change detection. It's most commonly used for biodiversity inventory and urbanization growth measurements. The successfullness of change detection is dependent on a lot of variables, but can work very well. I used a sort of change detection to help delineate the transient snow altitude- a common elevation at which glaciers change from predominately ice-covered to predominately snow-covered.

      There are lots of different systems that take these images. Some can reshoot an area in a days, some once a month, a year, maybe never again. Again, there a lots and lots of factors involved. Do a search for remote sensing basics and you'll probably find lots of cool stuff about it. If you're into this kind of thing...
    • The US has had much of the world's surface under continuous large scale infrared observation for 25 years or more with the Air Force DSP [af.mil] program. It can easily detect the smallest asteroid or comet impacts. I don't know if a scientific survey of its data has ever been done.

    • [Comparing images] we should also be able to tell when new craters hit.

      Technically, craters are the result of an imapact, not the impactor itself. But more importantly, we already know about about substantial meteorite impacts because of their signature on the global seismological / nuclear explosion sensing network.
    • by jesterzog (189797) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @01:14PM (#14898595) Homepage Journal

      I know we don't have the previous satellite images from years gone by, but would it be practical to use some sort of image diffing program to look for changes in satellite imagery in the future? Yes, you'd get all the new building activity and whatnot, but we should also be able to tell when new craters hit (or other bigger changes happen) automatically.

      If you mean to search for impact craters, then it's probably not at all practical for the types of craters that are discussed in this article. The initial crater mentioned is 195 kms in diameter. The article's not specific about the other two, but it seems that they're also on the order of many kilometres in diameter. Add to that that they'll be very very old, probably on the order of many tens of thousands to millions or hundreds of millions of years depending on the size and state. The erosion of them is part of the main reason they wouldn't have been discovered until now.

      If any of these craters were created in modern times, we'd very definitely know about it, irrespective of where on the Earth it was. If the entire Earth's sky didn't turn red and light wasn't blocked for years and large populations weren't killed, the impact would show up quite obviously on geological equipment for detecting Earth tremors.

      There are probably smaller impact craters forming on a more common basis if there were extremely high resolutions available, but they'd also be eroding much more quickly. Consequently you'd likely need very high resolutions, and need new ones frequently, and then some reliable algorithm for filtering out every farmer (or rabbit) who's dug a small hole for some reason.

      I'm an amateur astronomer but I'm not an expert on meteorite impacts, so I'd be interested to hear the comments of someone who knew a bit more about satellite images and impact craters. It seems pretty unlikely to me from my own understanding that it'd be infeasible, though.

    • I know we don't have the previous satellite images from years gone by, but would it be practical to use some sort of image diffing program to look for changes in satellite imagery in the future? Yes, you'd get all the new building activity and whatnot, but we should also be able to tell when new craters hit (or other bigger changes happen) automatically.

      There are easier ways to detect new impact events, such as the sismic shocks they produce.
  • by bigattichouse (527527) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @10:44AM (#14897996) Homepage
    Anyone have photo recgnition software that might look for the "raised circle" in a ring foot print and then wander over the map looking for interesting locations. You could use that database as a great testbed.
    • by Astroseti (960483) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @11:03AM (#14898067)

      Hi, I'm Emilio, the "discoverer"

      The main problem is that circularity is not a proof by itself, because it can be caused by other natural processes.

      Impacts don't have to be circles necessarily, it depends on the path inclination. They could be ellipses too. (I'm learning a lot these days)

      Another problem is that I found with Google Earth great portions of Africa are cloud covered. If would be great if they could make the mosaics showing only pictures without clouds.

      I don't think, but maybe I'm wrong, that there are many structures missing with such clear structure. I was really lucky, but most structures should be very erosioned like the candidates close to Arorunga, that need radar images to show details.

      I'm now also using NASA World Wind, and it has some interesting features shuch false colors that help to better distinguishing structures. Anyway Google Earth is great for sweeping big areas

      • by Sporkinum (655143) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @11:27AM (#14898156)
        Good job Emilio! I decided to try Worldwind as well, and your discoveries stick out like a sore thumb using Nasa's program. Yes, Google Earth scrolls faster, but I think Worldwind is better for seeing the detail.
        • by Sporkinum (655143) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @11:41AM (#14898228)
          worldwind://goto/world=Earth&lat=21.74227&lon=19.3 4509&alt=58760
          worldwind://goto/world=Earth&lat=21.28825&lon=19.3 4041&alt=58916
          For his two features in worldwind.
        • Worldwind is a great companion app to Google Earth. I find its interface more intuitive when looking for visuals instead of just using text searches, and having a choice of imagery is a big bonus.

          Google Earth's eye for aerial detail is great, but Worldwind is definitely not to be overlooked.
      • by Forbman (794277)
        Hmm... I remember watching a movie of a study done by NASA to see why impact craters always seem to be circular. They shot high-speed pellets at sintered silica sand blocks, and filmed the results. Didn't matter what they did w.r.t. velocity or angle of impact (short of the absurd, like 5 degrees elevation), they all came out circular. How many ellipsoid craters are found on the moon, for example?
        • Right, because craters aren't caused by the object, but by the explosion of the impact. The area affected by the explosion is always larger than the size of the object, because earth isn't very compressible so the object doesn't travel very far except at very shallow angles. Any trail smaller than the radius of the explosive crater would be pretty much destroyed. (Also, explosions don't generally occur in elliptical patterns along the ground. I could do a bad job of explaining why, but it's fairly intui
      • Impacts don't have to be circles necessarily, it depends on the path inclination. They could be ellipses too. (I'm learning a lot these days)

        Things can be highly distorted on conventional maps. Since you are projecting parts of a sphere onto a flat sheet.
        In theory a tool such as Google Earth shouldn't suffer from this too much.
    • Just remember that craters have many causes. What is more both of the "craters" in Africa are not impact craters as they are not "blasted out" like is supposed to happen on impact. If they are in fact craters, they are probably plasma discharge craters or volcanic structures. www.thunderbolts.info has a lot of data on this. See picture of the day for 3/10/2006 etc. See the Sedan crater

      • That site has lots of data on lots of things. Like that pretty much every crater on the earth and the moon is caused by electrical discharges. And that electricity is the "energy" that makes stars shine. And that comet tails are due to electrical discharge. And that electric forces rather than gravity shape the solar system and galaxies. And ... well, pretty much all the nonsense that the electric universe people keep raving about.
        • Try reading for a change. The reality is that electrical forces are 10^39 more powerful than gravity. The reality is almost nothing we see in the universe is predictable by the gravity theory. Many things are too energetic to match to gravity. But heckling is a typical nonsense response.

          Electrical forces all match well to what is seen. Electrical forces are powerful enough to do what is going on. Electrical forces are laboratory verifiable and they do check out! Electrical forces are obvious from as fa

          • Electrical forces are stonger than gravitational forces, if you are comparing the forces between two protons, for example. But electric forces can be shielded and gravitational forces can't. Most solid objects in the universe are electrically neutral or close because they have roughly similar numbers of protons and electrons. As a matter of fact, objects tend to resist acquiring a net charge.. Strip away some electrons and the positively charged object will pull in electrons to become neutral again. Gr
          • "The reality is that electrical forces are 10^39 more powerful than gravity."

            Apparently none of the black holes read the memo and to this day they stubbornly refuse to stop squashing electron and protons together. They claim they can't read because the electromagnetic waves carring the information get blue-shifted into oblivion. Not to mention their spectacles keep disapearing in a flash of gamma rays everytime they get a new pair.
            /rant.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    But when I emailed an impact geologist, I got no response. I won't say where, but it's not one of these.
  • Google Earth tourism (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) * <(fuzzybad) (at) (gmail.com)> on Saturday March 11, 2006 @10:46AM (#14898008)

    You can find many interesting sights on Google Earth (and Maps). Some of the ones I've found interesting are:

    Australia's Great Barrier Reef
    The USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor
    China's Three Gorges dam
    The Golden Gate Bridge

  • Meeeeh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by nottoogeeky (869124)
    Only certain regions are actually photographed well enough for you to see anything decent. One thing i really hope they improve on.
    • Yeah, and the areas of high res seem pretty bizarre sometimes... The town I'm in is entirely low res, except a rectangle containing the airport and a bit of forest to the southwest. Similarly, a nearby town is mostly low res, except for the airport/military base and a bit of ocean.
  • How cool is that? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blueZ3 (744446) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @10:59AM (#14898052) Homepage
    It's easy to get caught up in the idea that either everything cool that's discoverable by amateurs has already been discovered, or that it takes years of experience or expensive tools to do "new" work in science. This discovery, by someone whose interest was piqued a few days ago by a translated article, should serve as a reminder that there are still things out there that people without a formal science degree can discover.
    • by NorbrookC (674063)

      The idea that amateurs don't (or can't) do good science or make important discoveries is a more recent addition to popular culture - and it's wrong.

      Admittedly, there are fields where it's true - like particle physics, stem cell research, or transplant biology, since the "entry level" for equipment and training is something you're not going to be able to pick up on the cheap (unless you're Bill G).

      That said, there are many fields where 'amateurs' not only make important discoveries, they're actually

      • All of those things could have predicative theories offered just seeing other's research in new ways. Science is not all about experimentation. It just takes either a bigger brain or more time to come up with a theory without equipment.
      • Botany, ornithology and mycology are some other fields that amateurs do a lot of good work in. From what I understand the amateur scientist idea is much more common in Europe than in the U.S. I think the common thing among all of these fields is their observability - in most of these fields, the things you're observing stay put. Because of this, most of them don't require specialized equipment to explore, simply time and focus.

        More scientific organizations are making use of these amateurs through things lik
  • by Scrameustache (459504) * on Saturday March 11, 2006 @11:12AM (#14898098) Homepage Journal
    Let's see, we've had archeological sites found by google earth, asteroid impacts found by google earth... who knows what's next?

    I love this! You free up information, allow the unwashed masses access to it, and people find hidden treasure. Think how much we'd never know if all this was DRMed, locked and restricted!

    Google, don't ever change.
    • I love this! You free up information, allow the unwashed masses access to it, and people find hidden treasure. Think how much we'd never know if all this was DRMed, locked and restricted!

      If you lot had DRM'd all this stuff up, that treasure would have been ours. See you in court.

      -- The Dentist

    • That sounds like commie talk to me. Get 'em boys!

      Seriously though, of course you're correct. When information is Free, we all benefit.

      • Seriously though, of course you're correct. When information is Free, we all benefit.

        Alas, for some, when we all benefit, they feel that something is amiss.

        I feel like this is a unautomated version of SETI@home: distributed information analysis, by hand. Pretty awesome. Ah, the power of the internet... not just for porn anymore :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 11, 2006 @11:27AM (#14898157)
    As a geologist, I know that there are a great many processes that can form roughly circular geological structures besides impacts. For example, deformation associated with salt diapirs (AKA "salt domes") and plug-shaped igneous intrusions, among many others. So, although it is reasonable to identify impact *candidates* with aerial or satellite imagery, and many impact structures have been found that way initially, there are also many false positives. As the article mentions, it takes ground geological evidence to determine one way or the other.

    Here's some examples:

    a circular structure in Louisiana [google.com] -- this is related to a salt structure beneath the surface. There are several in the area. It has been somewhat enhanced by artificial canals and other development.

    volcanic cones [google.com] in various stages of erosion in Mexico. Volcanic cones are usually fairly easy to distinguish from impacts, but if they are deeply eroded (e.g., after the eruptions have stopped, and the peak has been worn down to the igneous plug in the center), they could be confused with well-eroded craters.

    salt domes and folding-related structures [google.com] in the Zagros Mountains of southern Iran.

    There is *alot* of awesome geology visible from space, especially in desert areas without much vegetation (I *love* Google Earth), but people should evaluate the possibilities skeptically. In the sum total of circular structures out there, probably only a fraction of a percent have anything to do with impacts.

    For comparison, here are a few legitimate impact structures:

    Clearwater Lakes [google.com] in northern Quebec, Canada.

    Lake Manicouagan [google.com], also in Quebec. The best places to look for craters is often these very old parts of the continents (called continental shields), where the surface has been exposed for a long, long time, even on geological scales.

    In the same area you'll also notice round structures like these [google.com] that relate to igneous intrusions (usually granites or other plutonic rocks) and which have nothing to do with impacts.

    Meteor Crater, Arizona [google.com] is a "simple" crater, which is bowl-shaped. Most of the bigger ones (like the ones above) are "complex craters" with one or more raised rings or central areas.

    I guess if Google Earth ever adds a geological map layer, it might make hunting for impacts a little less hit-and-miss, but geological maps aren't usually how people navigate or locate a business, so I can't see that happening soon ;-)
    • I guess if Google Earth ever adds a geological map layer, it might make hunting for impacts a little less hit-and-miss, but geological maps aren't usually how people navigate or locate a business, so I can't see that happening soon ;-)

      I'm not sure what you mean by "geological map layer". However, just in case you didn't know, Google Earth (the stand alone program) does have topography, and renders all the maps in three dimensions. I personally have spent many hours staring at impact craters and volcanic cra
    • http://worldwindcentral.com/ [worldwindcentral.com] is more likely to have scientific data sets than Google Earth.
    • I found this [google.com] when looking around from the one in Ontario you linked to. It's pretty cool looking, and whatever happened there seems to have left some significant lasting effects, considering that most of these circles are about a mile across or more each.

      Where would I find out where the nature of this area is documented, and what trauma happened?
  • by Kittie Rose (960365) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @11:27AM (#14898159) Homepage
    Man, all we need now is a Google Mars, and we won't have to bother with all this Orbiter crap.
  • I was hunting rocks one day, and I found a lot of craters and went down in some and I've always thought that they were impact craters. When I got home I logged on to Terraserver (This was before Google Earth) and found out that there were TONS more that I didn't see. I should try looking at the spot with Google Earth.
  • Google Sight Seeing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ntsucks (22132) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @11:35AM (#14898192) Homepage
    If you just want to look at cool stuff with Google Maps/Earth, without the searching. This place www.googlesightseeing.com [googlesightseeing.com] has tons of cool stuff found in Google Maps/Earth.
  • I wonder how much the US millitary could have saved using Google Earth to search for WMD test craters in Iraq...
    • using Google Earth to search for WMD test craters in Iraq...

            Mustard gas doesn't leave a crater.
      • Re:Dr. Strangelove (Score:2, Informative)

        by laura20 (21566)
        Mustard gas also isn't a WMD (despite the hype.) Terror weapon, battlefield denial weapon, but if it's a WMD then gasoline is too.
    • Well, they KNEW there arent any craters, because you cannot seriously detonate a nuke anywhere on the world without it being detected (both by satelites searching for gamma rays and by seismologic shocks that are created)
  • In Smallville ... a plethora of planetoid parts.
  • Here's an interesting one north of Boston. Not in the database either.

    http://maps.google.com/?ll=43.114142,-71.191235&sp n=0.090475,0.159645&t=k [google.com]
  • Hi Found this one in Mali. Couldn't find any reference on the web. http://local.google.com/local?f=q&hl=en&q=china&ll =18.474725,1.106529&spn=0.149789,0.346069&t=k [google.com]
  • ... Can anyone tell me when there will be a Linux client released?
    Surely it can be done.
  • It took 3 minutes of search to find an unregistered "circular thingy" in North Africa, 6 miles in diameter and 20 in circumference, in northern Nigeria at 21.35 N 9.14 E.
    • Looks good to me, here is the link: Impact crater? [google.com]
      • I got a reply from Kord Ernstson, who runs impact-structures.com!

        "Thank you for your e-mail with the hint to this nice structure. It looks quite promising considering a typical complex impact structure exhibiting a central uplift or, in this case, perhaps a kind of inner ring. The morphology is only one criterion for the identification of an impact structure and unfortunately more or less the least significant one. To establish an impact would require clear field evidence of typical impact rocks bearing
  • Now, it would have been interesting if it was: Discover How to Impact Craters with Google Earth
  • I love Google Earth. I find myself in a situation where I think I may have discovered an impact site, albeit in a very open and obvious place. I have been following up on it through various universities here in Michigan (where I am, and the mystery spot is), and yes, it seems lots of people are getting into Google Earth and discovering such things (based on responses I have gotten back).
  • I've been addicted to Google Earth ever since I came across it. Generally, I'm very skeptical about the use of computers in the classroom environment, I think they are help and hindrance in pretty much equal measure - but there should be a computer running Google Earth in every classroom. It's a fantastic tool for teaching geography and geology, and would even help with biology, history and politics.
  • I found some! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SirBruce (679714) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @04:18PM (#14899263) Homepage
    There's two very interesting structures in Namibia, and I'm almost certain one of them is a crater:

      2046'24.47"S
      1618'18.43"E

    You can see the multiple rings and the raise central structure. Also, just north of it is a smaller structure which may be associated with the first impact (sometimes you get crater chains):

      2043'56.35"S
      1617'28.12"E

    Finally, there's a very strange (to a layman) structure to the SW that would have to be a very oblique impact crater if it is one, but I've never seen a crater like that; it looks more like a natural circular feature:

      2049'8.00"S
      16 7'48.59"E

    If any geologist can look into this, let me know. I'd bet money the first one is an impact structure, though!

    Bruce
  • What about this one? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slagheap (734182) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @04:51PM (#14899363)

    Is this in a database somewhere? It's like a bulls-eye of small islands. I found this while looking around with Google Earth. It's near Lake of the Woods Minnesota USA / Canada.

    http://maps.google.com/?ll=49.169583,-94.491348&sp n=0.249613,0.464859&t=k [google.com]

    There is a really obvious circular pattern in the center of that one, and a slightly less obvious one just off to the east.

    • Slagheap: how did you find that?
    • by laura20 (21566)
      Huh. If you focus in on the eastern ring shape, it looks even more concentric [google.com]. And they aren't in the database I looked at [somerikko.net], nor does googling on Morson and crater note anything.

      But it is hard to believe that no one has noticed, given there's a (small) town sitting on top of one of them!
      • Actually, that's not hard to believe at all. There is a crater that is centered at Cape Charles, VA; the outer ring crosses Route 13 in the middle of a town that is a good hour to the north. It might be 4 feet high at most, and especially with crops, construction, I never would have noticed it on my own. Indeed, only after reading about it in Cape Charles, did I manage to see what I think might be it. It isn't nearly so definite as Civil war time foxholes (say, north of Newport News, near Fort Eustace),
  • when i went looking for Kebeira i found another crater about a quarter its size just a few miles to its west within a few minutes

    i am surprised that many of these are unknown

    one thing's going to surprise me more: if Hollywood doesn't wise up and start filming in that part of the Sahara when doing outer-space movies
  • These circular structures in the Libyan desert [google.com] are not craters, and seem to be man made.

    Are they the circular irrigation things. A bit north there are more of them [google.com].

    Anyone has an idea on what they are?
  • It'd be nice to have some pointers on what makes an impact crater differ from a volcanic crater in satellite imagery.

    I found what I thought was a impact crater in northern Mauritania using Google Maps, but was told by Dr. El-Baz at BU that it's volcanic. It looked an awful lot like Kebira. Maybe a list of volcanic features would have helped me weed out false finds.

    Anyway, just a tip for fellow armchair crater-hunters.

It is not every question that deserves an answer. -- Publilius Syrus

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