Two craters in the same area contain identical geological markers, indicating impact came at the simultaneously.
Researchers in Sweden have confirmed that a double meteor strike hit the Earth about 458 million years ago, according to a report on cbsnews.com.
Two craters, uncovered in the county of Jämtland in central Sweden, are being studied by a group of researchers from the University of Gothenburg. The craters were caused by two meteors that apparently struck the Earth at the same time, only a few miles apart. The team, which includes Erik Sturkell, a professor of geophysics at the University of Gothenburg, says the two impact craters are 4.7 miles across on the larger one, and the smaller one measures about 2,300 feet across.
At the time of the impact, the scientists say the area was under about 1,600 feet of seawater, with the smaller crater located approximately 10 miles from the larger. The impact created two large holes in the floor of the sea, and as the water that was displaced rushed back in to fill the area, the pits collected meteorite fragments and parts of the seabed that had been blown away.
Drilling operations revealed identical geological sequences within each crater, and the sediment analysis of each crater dates back to the same time frame. It is likely the meteors fell to Earth after a collision in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Evidence of meteor impacts in the area which is now Sweden are not rare. Quarry workers discovered what was later identified as a large meteorite in a red slab of Limestone in southern Sweden back in the 1940’s, but this is the first time scientists have found evidence of a double meteor strike. Over the last 15 years alone, scientists have found 90 meteorites, but in the area around Jämtland, only small grains of chromite have been found. Chromite is remnant of a large exploded meteor.
Large meteors usually explode and disintegrate upon impact with the earth, but smaller meteorites fall as rocks and are usually imbedded into the ground.