It looks like something you’ll find in a galaxy far away.
But these stunning satellite images show the devastating impact that asteroids and meteors have carved onto Earth’s surface, resulting in a number of strangely beautiful sites.
The eye-catching images of the world’s first atlas show the various craters that can be found around the world.
Stunning satellite images show the devastating impact that asteroids and meteors have carved onto the surface of the Earth like Shoemaker in Western Australia (pictured)
Eye-catching photos of the world’s first atlas show pits that can be found all over the world like Lonar in India (pictured)
The 600-page volume displays more than 200 locations made up of asteroids and comets crashing into the planet, in high-resolution topographic maps and satellite imagery.
Includes detailed geological descriptions and pictures of stunning rocky landscapes.
The volume, entitled Ground Impact Structures, includes “key details” about each collision crater, including the one that has now vanished from view.
Most craters last only a few thousand years before they are filled or eroded, and can then be identified only by the unique changes in Earth’s minerals from the shock wave produced by the impact.
“ The formation of craters due to collisions of an asteroid and comet has always been a fundamental process in the solar system, ” said co-author Professor Thomas Kinkmann at the University of Freiburg in Germany.
The 600-page volume shows more than 200 sites like Serra da Cangalha in Brazil (pictured) that are made up of asteroids and comets colliding with the planet.
Researchers used a low-orbit radar satellite called TanDEM-X between 2010 and 2016 to measure every known crater on Earth’s surface with an altitude accuracy of a meter. Pictured: Manicouagan crater in Quebec, Canada
As planets evolved alongside their moons, these effects played an important role in increasing planetary mass, shaping planetary surfaces, and then also influencing their subsequent evolution.
The impacts of the larger meteor also ultimately affected the evolution of life on Earth.
Researchers used a low-orbiting radar satellite called TanDEM-X between 2010 and 2016 to measure every known crater on Earth’s surface with an altitude of up to a meter.
These measurements helped them build a digital terrain model for every known crater including Manicouagan Crater in Canada, Cerro de Garo in Brazil, Shoemaker in Western Australia, and Gwene-Fada in Chad, Africa.
Professor Kinkman said: “ Over the past 50 years, lunar and planetary spaceflight has provided us with detailed maps of the ancient surfaces covered in the impact crater of our neighbors in the Solar System.
Most craters, such as Ries in Germany (pictured), only last a few thousand years before they are filled or eroded, and can then be identified only by the unique changes in Earth’s minerals from the shock wave of the collision.
“For Earth, the Global Shock Crater Record represents a fraction of the bombardment that our planet has endured.”
The books also introduce readers to basic principles of impact drilling, radar remote sensing, and provide details of the TanDEM-X mission and the researchers’ fieldwork.
Famous craters such as Fredfort Crater and Chicxulub Crater in the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula, which put an end to dinosaurs, also appeared in the atlas.
The largest and oldest crater in the world, Vredefort, is thought to have been at a distance of 185 miles and 25 miles wide, and appeared when a meteor or asteroid struck what is now South Africa about 2.02 billion years ago.
The books also introduce readers to basic principles of impact drilling, radar remote sensing, and provide details of the TanDEM-X mission and the researchers’ fieldwork. Pictured: Guindy Vada crater in Chad
It’s really hard to gauge the size of these collisions as the craters have shrunk and in many cases disappeared.
Professor Knkman said: “ The surface of our planet is always changing and after a few thousand years the craters can disappear.
In some, a lake is formed or buried, and in others it is completely eroded.
But the shock wave creates unique changes in Earth’s minerals, so even if you don’t see the crater, the shock wave remains.
“What we summarize in this atlas are all proven structures of influence, even the ones you don’t see.”
The measurements helped them build a digital terrain model for every known crater, including the Manicuagan Crater in Canada and Cerro de Garo in Brazil (pictured).
The UK’s largest underwater crater, about 25 miles off the northwest coast of Scotland, is therefore not visible in the atlas.
The underwater crater, first discovered in 2008, when a rock weighing 3 billion tons collided with the Mitch Basin, between Lewis and Harris Islands at the Outer Hebrides at 40,000 mph.
Asked about his favorite crater, Professor Kinkman said: “ I have a special relationship to those craters where I have conducted fieldwork, sometimes under adventurous conditions.
Australian pits often need helicopter access, after which you are alone there in outlying areas for two weeks to map and investigate crater structures.
‘This is really cool.’
Famous craters such as the Fredfort Crater and the Chicxulub Crater in the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula, which put an end to the dinosaurs, also appeared in the atlas. Pictured: Lappajarvi Crater, Finland
He added, “ It was really good to investigate the formally stunning crater Upheaval Dome in Utah in Canyonlands National Park on the Colorado Plateau.
This crater is severely eroded and gives full 3D visions of what is happening with the rocks below the crater.
Incidentally, this crater was originally thought to be a salt dome so we were able to discover the traumatic minerals and prove the source of their impact.
The books, which come in a bag, are available for purchase on the Verlag Pfeil publisher’s website.