Massive meteor strike discovered in 2008 may be the UK’s largest ever

The crater was found in Scotland

The crater was found in Scotland More

Over the past 1.2 billion years the portion of the Earth's crust that bore the brunt has drifted thousands of miles northwards.

Its precise location was undiscovered, until now.

Minch Basin in the remote parts of Northwest Scotland separates the Highlands and the Inner Hebrides from the Outer Hebrides and the island of Lewis and Harris.

"It was purely by chance this one landed in an ancient rift valley where fresh sediment quickly covered the debris to preserve it".

According to him, the next step will be a detailed geophysical survey in the target area of the Minch Basin. The density and range of the junk deposit they found implied the collision crater was near the coast, but its exact location remained an enigma.

The rocks are fragmented and contain melt particles, and also what geologists term shocked quartz - a type of mineral that has at some point been subjected to enormous pressures.

This scattered material over a large part of the region around Ullapool.

Using a combination of field observations and the distribution of meteor debris, the scientists were able to chart the direction and likely source of the crater. Researchers from Oxford University and also Aberdeen University discovered the space rock thought to be about one kilometer wide.

The strike, the largest of its kind discovered in Britain, scattered debris over an area 31 miles across. Back then, the continents were differently arranged, and the life on Earth was thriving only in oceans.

Having determined that an asteroid had indeed hit Scotland - which at the time would've been a dry landscape close to the equator - the team analysed ancient rock patterns, as well as the orientation of magnetic grains in the geological record, to work backwards and pinpoint the site of the original smash. Researchers believe the landscape would have greatly resembled that of Mars when it was covered in water. Earth and other planets may have suffered a higher rate of meteorite impacts.

Scientists believe there is a possibility of similar events in the future because a lot of asteroid and comet debris and fragments are orbiting the sun. Scientists estimate that the collision with the Earth and an object of 1 km in size happen once every 100,000 years.

Scientists have finally found an ancient meteorite crater off the coast of Scotland after searching for it over 10 years.

Much smaller impacts, where the meteorite is only a few meters across are thought to be relatively common perhaps occurring about once every 25 years on average.

Although the impact was very strong, its effect was insignificant compared to the disaster that occurred 66 million years ago.

Latest News