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Ries crater, Germany

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The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over an space in southern Germany, the place roughly 15 million years in the past an asteroid crashed via Earth’s ambiance. The high-speed impression shaped what’s now referred to as the Ries crater. Though tough to identify at first within the picture, the results of the impression is definitely nonetheless seen right now.

With a diameter of 26 km, the rim of the crater will be seen as a semi-circle within the picture, delineated by darkish inexperienced forest to the south. The flat ‘crater ground’ is ideally fitted to agricultural use and the corresponding fields mark the crater’s extent.

The medieval city of Nördlingen was in-built its melancholy. The historic centre, roughly 1 km huge, seems as a reddish circle, seen with its pink rooftops surrounded by a wall.

The asteroid was estimated to be travelling at 70 000 km per hour, and when it made impression with Earth, the high-speed drive uncovered the rock to intense strain and warmth, over 25 000°C. The impression led to the creation of over 70 000 tonnes of microscopic diamonds, every round zero.2 mm in dimension.

Ignored by the city’s inhabitants, the stone buildings have been constructed nearly totally with diamond-encrusted rock. Particulars on the impression will be discovered within the well-known Rieskrater Museum in Nördlingen.

For hundreds of years, Nördlingen locals believed the city was constructed within the crater of a volcano. However within the 1960s two American scientists proved that the melancholy was, actually, attributable to a meteorite impression. Right now, guests world wide collect to marvel at this glittering city, also called the backdrop to the unique Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Manufacturing facility movie.

Copernicus Sentinel-2 is a two-satellite mission. Every satellite tv for pc carries a high-resolution digital camera that pictures Earth’s floor in 13 spectral bands. Knowledge from Copernicus Sentinel-2 may help monitor adjustments in land cowl.

This picture, which was captured on 1 July 2018, can be featured on the Earth from Space video programme.


Photo voltaic exercise, asteroids and synthetic house particles all pose threats to our planet and our use of house. ESA’s Area Security actions goal to safeguard society and the crucial satellites on which we rely, figuring out and mitigating threats from house via initiatives such because the Flyeye telescopes, the Lagrange house climate mission and the Hera asteroid mission.

As asteroid consultants meet for the worldwide Planetary Protection Convention, ESA is specializing in the menace we face from house rocks. How probably is an asteroid impression? What’s ESA doing to mitigate impression dangers? Observe the hashtag #PlanetaryDefense to search out out extra.

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