Saturday, August 17, 2019
The skye times mobile

Geologists have found evidence that a meteorite struck the Isle of Skye 60 million years ago.

Dr Simon Drake, from Birkbeck, University of London, made the finds on Skye, with his colleague, Dr Andy Beard.  The geologists originally thought they were analysing rocks from a volcanic explosion.  However, the minerals inside the rocks did not match any records on Earth.

The minerals did, in fact, match samples of the comet Wild-2, collected by NASA during a mission to retrieve space dust.

The geologists worked at two sites on the island.  Dr Drake told The Skye Times of his experiences at An Carnach.  

Dr Drake said: "We have found evidence of the impact at two sites and at another potential two sites on the Isle of Skye, at the moment."

He added: "One of the things that is really interesting here is that the volcanological evolution of the Isle of Skye has always been considered to have been started with what's called a volcanic plume, an enormously large bulk of magma which has come up under what then was the crust that Skye was on.

"We are now suggesting that this may well have been assisted by a meteorite impact."

Above: A thin section view of what is known as meteoritic ejecta deposit found on Skye - photograph by Simon Drake.

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