folder Filed in Hiawatha Crater
Hiawatha Crater central peak
Hiawatha Discovery Team member Anders Bjork tweets 3D crater model
event December 31, 2018 comment 0 Comments

As most crater heads know, a “central peak” within a bowl shaped depression is diagnostic of a large “complex crater” resulting from a highly energetic (to say the very least) cosmic collision. Though NASA made an effort to point out the subtle peak features of Hiawatha Crater beneath a mile of erosive ice, the portion of their video revealing this crucial aspect of the crater was less than satisfying. Hard to get everything in a single clip I suppose.

So I was thrilled to see crater team member Anders Bjork share a link to the crater’s 3d model data in a tweet. With the data, the curious could investigate the crater for themselves and literally ‘fiddle’ with it. Fortunately, the 3d Model Viewer that is included on a Windows 10 machine, combined with a good graphics card, can swallow the .STL file and process the beast – given a little time. Try it yourself.

What you will see is a humble but distinct collection of uplifted material — from the rebound of molten rock within the cosmic wound. Astonishing that anything at all is still visible after ~12,874 years given the bulldozing effect of glacial ice on topography. And far more unlikely still if the crater were much older.

Wow.

Screenshot from the NASA video here: