Skip to Content
Smart cities

NASA has discovered another massive crater beneath the ice in Greenland

February 12, 2019

The meteorite impact crater is the second to have been found in the area in just a few months.

The news: The newly found crater reported yesterday in Geophysical Research Letters is thought to be more than 22 miles (45.4 kilometers) wide. It is only 114 miles (183.5 kilometers) from the Hiawatha impact crater that was discovered in 2018. The identification of that first crater led NASA to dedicate additional resources for investigating the land under Greenland’s ice. 

How it was found: NASA glaciologists used topographical maps, satellite images, and radar scans to analyze the area. What they found was a flat, bowl-shaped depression in the bedrock. This was surrounded by an elevated edge and characteristic central peaks, which form on the crater floor after an impact. The crater has eroded significantly over time, causing the team to estimate it was created somewhere between a hundred thousand years and a hundred million years ago. That suggests it probably wasn’t formed at the same time as the Hiawatha crater, which is younger.

Why it matters: This would be the third pair of craters that sit close to one another that we’ve found on Earth. “We’ve surveyed the Earth in many different ways, from land, air, and space. It’s exciting that discoveries like these are still possible,” says Joe MacGregor, a glaciologist with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Want to stay up to date on the latest in space technology? Sign up for our space newsletter, The Airlock.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting

With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.

VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence

On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.

This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine

Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.