Impact crater formation

Impact crater formation

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Credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Impact crater formation. Artwork of the sequence of events as an impact crater forms. At top, the impactor (bolide), such as an asteroid, hits the surface, losing a lot of its kinetic energy. This lost kinetic energy heats and vaporises the bolide and the rocks at the surface. Some of the kinetic energy is dissipated as sound and light, and some is transferred to the surface, deforming it and throwing rock upwards and outwards (middle) as the blast wave widens the crater and forms the crater walls. The blast ejecta forms a blanket around the crater, with the rock layers (strata) reversed. This strata reversal is shown in the diagram at bottom, where the energy of impact has dissipated and the ground at the point of impact has rebounded, leaving a central peak.

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Keywords: artwork, asteroid, astrophysical, astrophysics, bolide, computer artwork, crater, ejecta layer, explosion, geological, geology, heat, hitting, illustration, impact, impact crater, impacting, impactor, kinetic energy, light, meteorite craters, rock strata, sequence, strata reversal, three, trio, wall, walls

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