Crater found from asteroid that covered 10% of Earth’s surface in debris

A tektike, a piece of rock formed during an asteroid impact. (Credit: Holly Mazour/Shutterstock)
A piece of Indochinite tektite, a type of rock formed during the asteroid impact. This sample is about 1.7 inches (4.4 centimeters) across at its widest.

A flash of light would have come first, followed by a shockwave and massive earthquake. Only later would the hailstorm of black, glassy debris begun to fall, a rocky rain that would touch 10 percent of the planet’s surface.

That’s the scene that followed a massive asteroid impact 790,000 years ago. The remains it scattered, called tektites, have been found from Asia to Antarctica. For decades, scientists have searched for the elusive resting place of the impactor that coated the Earth with debris. Now, they may have finally found it.

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