Imagine standing on a hillside just outside of Douglas, Wyoming, and noticing that the ground around you, including the rocks, seems to be bowl-shaped.

What caused that?

In this case, it might have been caused by secondary impacts from a meteor, a very long time ago.

The discovery is new. The Impacts are old.

From what has been found, it looks as if a meteor hit around what is now the Wyoming/Nebraska border.

That impact caused debris to fly across Wyoming, causing these smaller crators.

There are many secondary impacts visible on the moon. But here on Earth, such impacts are covered up by our ever-changing landscape. These secondary impacts in Wyoming are the only known on Earth.

You can watch a geologist explore the area in the video below.

How these impact sites were found is interesting.

It was back in the mid-1990s when a hunter, and petroleum geologist named Gene George noticed an odd depression in southeastern Wyoming.

Anyone else would have just walked over it. But a trained eye will cause a person to stop and think about what they are seeing.

George called geology professor Peter Hunton with news of what he had found.

Undergraduate students were sent to investigate the site. At that time they mapped what they seemed to think were five possible craters in the area.

Below are a few of these secondary impact sites as seen from Google Earth.

attachment-secondary impacts google earth

During the Great American Eclipse of 2017 Geologist Kent Sundell of Casper College in Wyoming was leading a pre-totality field trip that included Apollo 17 geologist-astronaut Harrison Schmitt.

Sundell had recently used the college’s newly acquired drones to reconfirm the crater cluster first detailed two decades earlier.

Out there on the dry, windswept plains, Schmitt “and all the rest of the planetary scientists all agreed these [features] were exceptional,” Sundell tells Astronomy Magazine.

Using drones Sundell and his students found many more impacts.

Hard impacts like this affect the minerals in the area in a specific way.

Geologists were sent in to look for that evidence, and they found it.

So far impacts like these have only been found in Wyoming.

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Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

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Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

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