Huge space rock rattled Earth 3 billion years ago

By Ashley Yeager, 11:40 AM April 10, 2014

An asteroid almost as wide as Rhode Island may have plowed into Earth 3.26 billion years ago, leaving its mark in South Africa’s Barberton greenstone belt.

Hitting the planet at a speed of 20 kilometers per second, the 37- to 58-kilometer-wide space rock could have jolted Earth with the force of a magnitude 10.8 earthquake and set off tsunamis thousands of meters deep, researchers report in a paper accepted for publication in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems.

It is the first time scientists...

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