Scientists have discovered what could be a 22-mile-wide impact crater buried deep beneath Greenland’s ice.
If so, it would be the second such discovery announced in the last few months.
A NASA glaciologist spotted signs of the possible crater in northwest Greenland just 114 miles from the recently-discovered crater beneath the Hiawatha Glacier while scouring satellite imagery and topographic maps of the area.
Exactly how and when it formed still remain a mystery, though the researchers suspect it may be more than 80,000 years old.
‘We’ve surveyed the Earth in many different ways, from land, air, and space – it’s exciting that discoveries like these are still possible,’ said Joe MacGregor, a glaciologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, who participated in the discovery of a crater previously announced in November 2018.
That crater, estimated to be 19 miles wide, sits beneath the Hiawatha Glacier and is now the first impact crater ever to be found beneath Earth’s ice sheets.
It was previously thought that most evidence of ancient impacts would have been erased by erosion of the overlying ice over many years.