Chicxulub impact crater

Chicxulub impact crater

. This image shows the variations in the magnitude of the gravity field at sea level in the vicinity of the buried Chicxulub impact basin in the northwestern corner of the Yucatán Peninsula. The impact basin exhibits ring-like variations in the strength of the gravity. One interpretation of the crater’s horse-shoe shape is that the asteroid struck the land at a low, oblique angle from the south-east (lower-right). The pronounced ring that separates the deep annular basin (magenta and deep blue regions) from the basin flanks (cyan and green) has a diameter of about 180 thousand meters. A discontinuous, subtle outer region with a diameter of 250 thousand to 280 thousand meters can be discerned particularly toward the southern (lower) part of the basin. (Courtesy of Virgil L. Sharpton and the Lunar and Planetary Institute.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University