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Easily seen from space, the Vredefort Dome is a gigantic crater caused by the impact of an asteroid. The crater situated in the Free State Province of South Africa is known as an astrobleme, the weathered remains of an asteroid impact zone. The Vredefort Dome spans over 300km in diameter and the impact has been dated to 2 billion years ago, making it one of the oldest impact sites on earth. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2005.
The asteroid responsible for the impact was determined to be several kilometres in size that smashed into the earth at a speed of between 50000kph and 100000kph. It’s estimated that around 70km³ of solid rock would have been instantly vaporised at the core zone. While the actual crater cannot be seen from the ground (it is too vast, has been covered by sediments over the millennia and the area is too developed), the heat of... Show more