Friday, May 21, 2021

The discovery of Kamil crater

7:55 PM | ,

In 2008, the Italian mineralogist Vincenzo de Michele, curator of the Civic Museum of Natural History in Milan, was studying the Egyptian desert through Google Earth satellite images in search of Neolithic finds when he came across something unexpected.

In fact, De Michele discovered a small, nameless crater that had never been observed before.

In 2010, a joint expedition was organized between Italians and Egyptians to reach the crater and study it on site for the first time ever.

The studies conducted by this research group made it possible to very accurately determine the characteristics and history of the crater, later named Kamil.

Kamil has a diameter of 45 meters and a depth of 15 meters. Around it there is a very well preserved radial structure: these structures are very rare to find on our planet, since they are usually destroyed in a short time due to erosive phenomena (while they are common on bodies without atmospheric agents such as Moon).

During the expedition, over 5000 ferrous fragments of the impacting meteorite were found, which are now mostly kept in the geological museum in Cairo.

Based on these findings it was possible to reconstruct the story of Kamil. The crater is believed to have formed about 5,000 years ago, when a ferrous meteorite about 1.3 meters in diameter and weighing between 5,000 and 10,000 kg struck the Egyptian desert at a speed of about 3.5 km/s.

Credit: Stefano Urbini.

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