Many questions remain on Chesapeake crater
The Charlotte Observer
September 5, 2001

Meteor impact 35 million years ago

Scientists review collision that left 56-mile-wide depression in bay

Near this spot 35 million years ago, an enormous ball of ice or rock screeched down from outer space in a blinding flash of light and blasted a crater 56 miles across and almost a mile deep.

The meteor, the largest ever to strike what is now the United States, hurled fragments as far as Antarctica and gouged a depression that lies under the Chesapeake Bay, one of the East Coast's scenic wonders.

Today, a rough circle of low ridges in Virginia's coastal plain, near historic Williamsburg and Jamestown, marks the outer rim of the ancient crater, which is buried under thousands of feet of sand, silt and clay.

This summer, researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey are drilling holes in and around the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater, as it is known. They are trying to understand what happened when the meteor hit and what it means for people now and in the future.

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