Australian astronomer finds crater from ancient stories

Members of the Northern Sydney Astronomical Society will remember we were fortunate enough to have some interesting lectures in the past year by a Sydney astronomer by the name of  Duane Hamacher. He recently spoke to us at the society about locating a previously unknown crater based on an aboriginal dreaming story about a star crashing to Earth.

After hearing the stories by the local  Arrernte people in a place called Palm Valley 130 km from Alice Springs, Duane Hamacher hopped online and began looking around using Google Earth which gives pretty detailed satellite coverage of most areas in Australia. Duane then discovered using Google Earth what appeared to be a crater and he went out with a team to survey the location in Palm Valley.

(Click to Enlarge)

Once they arrived at the site, they discovered evidence of shocked quartz which is only produced when there has been a substancial impact event in the area. Not even volcanic activity will produce enough pressure to create shocked quartz. And the pictures that Duane Hamacher showed us appeared to prove that he had indeed found an impact crater which was bowl shaped and not possibly formed by erosion.

So this finding of an unknown crater using dreaming stories by the local aboriginal people is an incredible story and a huge success for Duane Hamacher and his team.

I have noticed several news sites have published articles over the last few days about this new crater and how it was discovered so I thought it would be of interest to others who have not become aware of this.

If you would like more information on this ,look at this link http://www.mq.edu.au/newsroom/control.php?page=story&item=4008

or look into the Aboriginal Astronomy Project  here at http://www.warawara.mq.edu.au/aboriginal_astronomy/

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~ by sydneystargazers on December 29, 2009.

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