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Reality Check: Meteors & Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - While the meteor that exploded in the sky above Russia is getting worldwide attention, Kentucky too has been ground zero before for meteorites.

The Kentucky Geological Society says three places in Kentucky bear the scars of ancient impacts of meteorites. These scars are large roughly circular craters called astroblemes.

The sites are the Jeptha Knob in Shelby County, a site near Versailles in Woodford County, and a site near Middlesboro in Bell County.

The Kentucky sites are among approximately 200 impact structures known on the earth.

"The deformation caused by the meteor impact is a very rapid geological process," reads the Kentucky Geological Society's website. "Some minerals or unusual rocks may be found near these impact structures, namely part of the meteorite itself, brecciated rocks struck by the meteorite, and possibly some iron, nickel, or sphalerite minerals formed during or after the impact."

According to the KGS, the nearly four mile in diameter astrobleme in Middlesboro makes it likely the only town in North America to lie within an astrobleme. A 1,640-foot in diameter metoerite is thought to have created the structure 300 million years ago.

The KGS says the one-mile in diameter astrobleme in Woodford County is along Big Sink Road and was originally thought to be a sinkhole. It is believed to have been created more than 440 million years ago.

Meteorites have been recovered in 27 locations in Kentucky, including Bath, Bullitt, Livingston, Franklin, Allen, Carroll, Grant, and McCreary counties.


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