300 – 600 Million years ago an asteroid smashed into the earth.

In a remote part of Central Australia, the two pieces of asteroid left what geophysicists say is the largest impact zone ever found on Earth, spreading over an area 400 kilometres (250 miles) wide.

“The two asteroids must each have been over 10 kilometres across…it would have been curtains for many life species on the planet at the time,” said lead researcher Andrew Glikson of the Australian National University.

The Earth was a very different place back then.

Australia and North and south America were scrunched together in one big land mass and the whole planet was inhabited only by multi-celled organisms. It is known as the Ediacaran period (named after the incredibly beautiful Ediacaran Hills in South Australia).

A geothermal research project chanced on clues to the impacts while drilling more than two kilometres into the earth’s crust. The drill core contained traces of rocks that had been turned to glass by the extreme temperature and pressure caused by a major impact.

Incidentally, an asteroid passed Earth on the 27th of March 2014 YB35 (also written 2014 YB35) it was a near-Earth asteroid discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on 27 December 2013. It is approximately 520 metres (1,710 ft) in diameter. It will pass the Earth at a distance of 4,473,807 km. That’s a long way away so there is no need to run for the nearest hills OK.

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