Possibly the best-preserved small impact crater ever seen on Earth has been found in the remote Egyptian desert.
The crater is called Kamil and retains much of its structure, down to the rays of ejected material that were shot from the center when the space rock hit. Generally, craters in good shape are found only on the moon or Mars, where there are fewer environmental and atmospheric processes to destroy them.
The Kamil crater is 148 feet (45 meters) wide, and was first spotted in Google Earth satellite photographs by Vincenzo de Michele, a former curator of the Civico Museo di Storia Naturale in Milan, Italy.
Based on the size and characteristics of the bowl-shaped crater, the researchers think it was caused by the impact of an iron meteorite about 4.3 feet (1.3 meters) in diameter traveling at 7,920 mph (11,732 kph).
Objects fall into Earth's atmosphere every month, but most burn up before they can reach the ground. Many of the resulting fireballs are not seen because they occur over remote areas or fall into the ocean.
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