In this summer heat, temperatures often hit 45°C. You might call that hot but whilst baking, your oven reaches temperatures of 250°C. Things start to get really hot, enough to bake bread or even roast food.
Now, imagine temperatures of 2370°C right beneath your feet. This might sound unbelievable but a team of post-doctoral students from the University of Western Ontario found a rock with a temperature that broke all the previous records.
In 2011, this team of students located and found this unique ‘melt rock’ – rocks that are created when soil melts into liquid state and hardens – which had been formed as a result of an asteroid impact; reaching temperatures than previously theorized was even possible.
Coming to 2022, eleven years after the students from Western Ontario had dug up what was perceived to be the hottest rock on Earth, a recent study just confirmed the rock’s record-high temperature of 2,370 C, opening up many possible dimensions of research and discovery.
This gives us great insight into what happens to asteroids as they enter our atmosphere and crashes into the ground said Tolomettia, a post-doctoral student from the Laboratory of Thermomechanical Metallurgy. This won’t only help us understand crater impacts on earth but the whole Solar System, he added.
The record-high temperature of 2,370 C was responsible for this formation, however, during the ‘impact event’ – the time when the meteor makes contact with the ground, scientists theorise that the pressure generated would have been around 100 Gigapascals, equivalent to a million kg’s per cm2, which is enough to vaporise rocks.
The researches with this new discovery plan to expand their knowledge base by studying similar asteroid impacts from around the world. Not only that, impacts which have occurred on our moon will now be better understood with greater detail, enhancing our understanding a step further.