Craters are marks on the ground left by space rocks. They have a bowl shape and come from asteroids hitting Earth.
When meteorites hit the ground, they cause craters. The middle part crushes and collapses, while the outer part goes up to a certain height. On the moon’s surface, we can see a typical example of a crater.
There are over 200 meteorite craters in the world. China has only a few identified craters due to less research. China has famous craters like Xiuyan Crater, Yilan Crater, and Baisha Meteor Crater. Some believe Taihu Lake and Sichuan Basin were also meteorite craters.
Chinese scientists found a new meteorite crater in Tonghua City, Jilin Province. This is the first alpine meteorite crater discovered globally.
A big hole was discovered on Baijifeng Mountain in Baijifeng National Forest Park. The location is over 20 kilometers southeast of Tonghua City, found in Jilin Province.The pit has a diameter of 1,400 meters and is over 400 meters deep. It looks like a funnel on top of a mountain. The Baiji Peak has been split into two parts- old Baiji Peak (1,318 meters high) and Houbaiji Peak (1,300 meters high).
When the meteorite hit, it caused a big impact. This made part of the mountain peak collapse. The meteorite also created a funnel shape and split the mountain in two. This type of land formation is special and different from other places where meteorites have hit.
Meteor craters are easy to spot on flat surfaces such as plains or plateaus. They form large circular shapes, making them recognizable. Mountainous areas have many valleys, big and small. The Baijifeng crater is tiny and hard to identify whether it’s a valley or a crater. Finding such a small crater is rare.
A heavy meteorite can create a large crater of 1.4 km diameter. It is heavier than the Tunguska meteorite. The estimated original diameter is 80-100 meters with a volume of 200,000-300,000 cubic meters. It weighs over 400,000 tons and speeds at over 10 km/sec in the Earth’s atmosphere. When it hits the ground, it creates energy equivalent to millions of tons of TNT explosives.
The top of Baiji Peak has a sinkhole that some people think is a meteorite crater. Locals call the rock fragments “sky stones.” These are found on the mountain slopes like waterfalls, but not on other peaks. No one knows where these rocks came from, but it is believed that they were formed when meteors hit the mountain. This theory can now be accepted as scientific explanation.
Chinese scientists discovered a crater and published their research in a journal. According to Chen Ming, a researcher at Beijing High Voltage Science Research Center, an asteroid caused a big explosion. The explosion made a large hole in the ground called an impact crater. Two new peaks were created and named “Chicken” and “Houbai Chicken.”
Baijifeng Mountain is made of old rocks. Some of these rocks broke because a big rock hit the top of the mountain. This created a cool waterfall effect. It looks like throwing a stone into water and seeing the splashes. The broken rocks made a special kind of waterfall called “Sky Stone Waterfall”.
The author of the paper thinks more research is needed to know when the crater was formed. They believe it happened a long time ago or else the mountain debris would be gone by now. The Xiuyan crater in Liaoning was formed 50,000 years ago. Yilan’s was formed around 49,000 years ago, and Hainan Baisha’s was made approximately 700,000 years ago.
The craters do not have clear marks. The Baijifeng crater’s weathering condition needs to be clearer. This suggests that it formed before the other craters, but much later than that.