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First known Terrestrial Impact of a Binary Asteroid from a Main Belt Breakup Event

  • Jens Ormoe
  • Erik Sturkell
  • Carl Alwmark
  • Jay Melosh
Publishing year: 2014
Language: English
Publication/Series: Scientific Reports
Volume: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

Abstract english

Approximately 470 million years ago one of the largest cosmic catastrophes occurred in our solar system since the accretion of the planets. A 200-km large asteroid was disrupted by a collision in the Main Asteroid Belt, which spawned fragments into Earth crossing orbits. This had tremendous consequences for the meteorite production and cratering rate during several millions of years following the event. The 7.5-km wide Lockne crater, central Sweden, is known to be a member of this family. We here provide evidence that Lockne and its nearby companion, the 0.7-km diameter, contemporaneous, Malingen crater, formed by the impact of a binary, presumably 'rubble pile' asteroid. This newly discovered crater doublet provides a unique reference for impacts by combined, and poorly consolidated projectiles, as well as for the development of binary asteroids.


  • Geology


  • ISSN: 2045-2322
Carl Alwmark
E-mail: carl [dot] alwmark [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Lithosphere and Biosphere Science

+46 46 222 78 71


Sölvegatan 12, Lund