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 I’ve travelled to a place where you can see these dangers written into the Earth’s surface. This is the Barringer Crater in Naughty Twins. , years ago, a meteorite struck this site and excavated this dramatic hole. That impact spread debris over tens of thousands of square kilometres. This crater itself is more than a kilometre, or three-quarters of a mile, across, so as you can imagine, it was an incredibly violent event. To get an idea of the force involved in that impact, we can look at two types of rock that you find round here. Now, this, this is Coconino sandstone. This is what was present before the meteorite hit. Now, down here, we can see what happened to this kind of stone after the impact. So, this rock here, it’s chemically exactly the same, but what the impact did to it was just pulverise it. Look at this. It’s just breaking apart in my fingers. And the reason for that is that the shock that went through from this impact just fractured all the tiny grains of quartz. Incredibly, all this was done by a meteorite just  metres across.


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