Hole from on high

Egyptian impact crater first spotted on Google Earth

1:47pm, July 22, 2010

Researchers poring over Google Earth images have discovered one of Earth’s freshest impact craters — a 45-meter-wide pock in southwestern Egypt that probably was excavated by a fast-moving iron meteorite no more than a few thousand years ago.

Although the crater was first noticed in autumn 2008, researchers have since spotted the blemish on satellite images taken as far back as 1972, says Luigi Folco, a cosmochemist at the University of Siena in Italy. He and his colleagues report their find online July 22 in Science.

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