Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Sudbury Basin in southeastern Ontario, which was created by an impact crater about 1.8 billion years ago. The crater is fifty times older than Popigai, which formed 36 million years ago.
According to NASA, it can take a moment to discern the shape of the Sudbury Basin impact structure amid the modern landscape.
Many mines are visible around the basin, especially around the rim, due to an abundance of ore deposits rich in nickel and copper. These deposits were found long before the impact crater itself.
The powerful collision was initially linked to an asteroid, but later determined to be a comet. NASA explains that the collision punctured the Earth’s crust, allowing material from the mantle to well up from below and fill the basin with melted rock. When a shockwave shattered the surrounding rocks, minerals from the melted rock were able to surface.
The image was captured on September 11, 2020 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer