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Asteroid Day 2022: 7 massive craters on Earth visible from space

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Over the last 4.5 billion years, Earth has been slammed with space rocks several times, seemingly at random.


Those rogue space rocks have their own holiday: International Asteroid Day, celebrated on June 30.

It’s held on the anniversary of the Tunguska explosion, when part of an asteroid fell to Earth and disintegrated in a massive fireball over Siberia in 1908.

Wikimedia Commons

The commemorative holiday exists to raise awareness of the threat posed by asteroid impacts.

John White Photos/Moment/Getty Images

Beyond Siberia, our planet bears many scars from past impacts, some so massive that they’re visible from space.

They serve as a reminder of how powerful — and common — falling asteroids can be.

Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Moment/Getty Images

Here are 7 impressive impact craters around the globe:

7. Dinosaurs were still roaming the Earth when an asteroid fragment created the Ouarkziz crater in Algeria 70 million years ago.

6. Just a short 50,000 years ago, Arizona’s Meteor Crater was blasted into existence by a piece of asteroid 150 feet wide.

NASA Earth Observatory

5. Easily recognizable from space, the Manicouagan Reservoir in Canada was carved by an impact 214 million years ago.

4. Mauritania’s Tenoumer Crater crafted an almost perfect circle in ancient rock during an impact 10,000 and 30,000 years ago.

3. Another symmetrical crater is the Roter Kamm in Namibia, created by an asteroid the size of a car that hit Earth 5 million years ago.

2. Captured here in false color is Gosses Bluff crater in Australia, which came into existence 140 million years ago.

1. The Ries Crater in Germany is a little hard to spot, since people have settled in its depression since medieval times. It was carved by an impact 15 million years ago.

Copernicus Sentinel, ESA

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