Impact Crater - Research Article from World of Earth Science

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Impact Crater

An impact crater is a physical scar on a planetary body's surface (topographic depression or geological structure) that is the result of hypervelocity impact by a minor planet, such as an asteroid, comet, or meteorite. Most impact craters are generally circular, although elliptical impact craters are known from very low-angle or obliquely impacting projectiles. In addition, some impact craters have been tectonically deformed and thus are no longer circular. Impact craters may be exposed, buried, or partially buried. Geologists distinguish an impact crater, which is rather easily seen, from an impact structure, which is an impact crater that may be in a state of poor preservation. A meteorite crater is distinguished from other impact craters because there are fragments of the impacting body preserved near the crater. Typically, a meteorite crater is a rather small feature under 0.6 mi (1 km) in diameter.

The impact crater is the...

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This section contains 1,395 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Impact Crater Encyclopedia Article
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Impact Crater from World of Earth Science. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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