Detail View: NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day Collection: Mjølnir: Impact Crater

Title: 
Mjølnir: Impact Crater
Explanation: 
The stark surface of Earth's moon [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap990326.html ] is pocked with large craters, records of a history of fierce bombardment by the solar system's formative debris. It may be difficult to imagine, but nearby planet Earth itself has endured [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap971012.html ] a similar cosmic pounding, though oceans, weathering, and geological activity have removed or hidden many of the telltale scars. For example, this false color image produced from seismic data shows a recently discovered ringed structure [ http://www.geologi.uio.no/avdG/mjolnir/mjolnir.html ] about 24 miles wide on the floor of the Barents Sea [ http://www.geologi.uio.no/avdG/mjolnir/photo_gallery/ html/location.html ]. It is most probably the result of the impact, roughly 150 million years ago, of a mile or so wide asteroid-like body. Estimates indicate [ http://www.geologi.uio.no/avdG/mjolnir/photo_gallery/ html/environ_cons.html ] that the energy released in the impact could have [ http://impact.arc.nasa.gov/index.html ] been as high as a million megatons of TNT, resulting in immense earthquakes and tidal waves. Drawing on Norse mythology [ http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~cherryne/mythology.html ], the crater has been aptly named [ http://www.islandia.is/~oldnorse/gods/thor.htm ] Mjølnir - Thor's hammer.
Credit and Copyright: 
F. Tsikalas [ mailto:filippos.tsikalas@geologi.uio.no ], S.T. Gudlaugsson, J.I. Faleide, O. Eldholm (Geology Dept., Univ. Oslo [ http://www.geologi.uio.no/ ])
keyword: 
earth
facet_where: 
Barents Sea
facet_what: 
Crater
original url: 
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap990610.html
UID: 
SPD-APOD-ap990610