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Chad: Aorounga Crater

A relatively small but readily visible impact crater  in Chad has been recently detected through radar imaging from the space shuttle. Aorounga Crater, 17 km in diameter, is the remnant of an impact event which occurred over 200 million years ago, when an an asteroid or comet struck the Earth in north-central Africa.

The SIR/C radar image shows a ring structure from which most overlying sediments have eroded. Dark streaks throughout the image represent deposits of windblown sand which have filled in the eroded valleys. A possible second crater is shown by the darker band in the upper right corner of the image.

[Fig.1: SIR-C radar image of the Aorounga Crater in Chad (NASA/JPL)].

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