Scientists estimate the area of the crater is 11 times the size of the iconic meteor crater in Arizona
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Scientists at the University of Minnesota say they have discovered the site of a massive meteoroid crash from about 500 million years ago.
It was supposed to be a typical geologic re-mapping of Dakota County, but instead, scientists at the Minnesota Geological Survey unearthed something out of this world.
"This is an old blast, in the past,' said geologist Julia Steenberg.
Steenberg believes they found the site of a meteor crash.
The crater, under Inver Grove Heights, spans about two-and-half miles wide and dates back 490 million years, WCCO reported.
"One to several football fields would be the size of the meteorite that would have hit," Steenberg said.
You can't see anything above ground, but if you've driven on Highway 52, you've likely driven above that meteor site. The real evidence can only be found about 350 feet below ground.
"We noticed the gains of sands had a very particular look, like they were shocked or fractured and some of the data showed the rocks were actually inverted," Steenberg said.
They're calling it the "Pine Bend impact."
If verified, it would be the first meteor site in Minnesota and among just 190 known sites worldwide.
"Put on us the map so to speak," Steenberg said,
Scientists estimate the area of the crater is 11 times the size of the iconic meteor crater in Arizona.
A discovery like this allows us to learn more about our past and look ahead to the future.
"It's not something that we need to necessarily worry about in our lifetimes but to know it could happen and that NASA is even exploring ways to stop it happening is really interesting," Steenberg said.
About a third of all known meteor sites are buried, like the one found in Minnesota. Steenberg is trying to get her findings published and get that site added to the official count.