Illuminating Mars

Research partnerships with Ontario Universities lead to...

the discovery of debris from a meteorite that hit near Sudbury 1.8 billion years ago, giving geologists insight into the geology of the Red Planet. 

The Sudbury Basin is the second-largest impact crater on Earth, measuring about 260 kilometres in diameter.  It is also one of the oldest. The crater was formed about 1,850 million years ago when a meteorite slammed into the Canadian Shield.  Lakehead University’s Steve Kissin and Philip Fralick, along with retired high school teachers Bill Addison and Greg Brumpton, discovered the debris from the impact in rocks in the Lake Superior region. The finding is particularly important for understanding Mars: marble-sized spheres in the Sudbury rocks are similar to those found in rocks on Mars, helping researchers decipher the origin of the Martian rocks.

Their discovery also promises to shed light on the consequences of large meteorite impacts for life and ocean chemistry on Earth.

Discovery of distal ejecta from the 1850 Ma Sudbury impact event

Potential Recognition of Accretionary Lapilli in Distal Impact Deposits on Mars: A Facies Analog Provided by the 1.85 Ga Sudbury Impact Deposit