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World's 1st mountaintop impact crater discovered in northeastern China

Still Waters

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A nearly mile-wide (1.6 kilometer) divot in a Chinese mountaintop is actually an impact crater from a long-ago meteorite landing.

The newly discovered crater, located in northeastern China not far from the North Korean border, is the first confirmed mountaintop crater on Earth. Researchers aren't sure when the impact happened, but it left a circular depression and split the mountaintop into two peaks, known as Front Baijifeng and Rear Baijifeng.

The mountain peaks are littered with rock fragments known locally as "celestial stone," which turns out to be a scientifically accurate moniker. According to a new study, published Sept. 1 in the journal Matter and Radiation at Extremes, rocks on the peaks bear the telltale shock patterns of an impact with a space object.


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