Figure (image) University of Hamburg Share Print E-Mail Caption 66 million years ago a meteorite of a diameter 14 km wide struck the Earth with an enormous speed of 20.000 kilometers per hour drilling itself 20 km into the Earth's crust (1). Due to the impact temperatures of 10.000°C emerged temporarily, melting and evaporating the meteorite and parts of the Earth's crust. A shock wave arose molding a crater 30 km deep and 100 km wide (2). As the crater collapsed, the mass of rock behaved like a viscous mass, shooting up to form a 20 km high mountain (3). The liquid mass of the rocks of the collapsed mountain moved beyond the crater margins and solidified. This led both to the summit ring and to the flattening and widening of the crater (4). Credit UHH/Min/Fuchs Usage Restrictions None Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.