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Walking on diamonds

13 Sep 2017, 12:05 UTC
Walking on diamonds ESA-Robbie Shone

With a steady pace we’re heading for the top of Nördlingen’s church tower. “Look at the shiny steps of the staircase!”, points out our instructor Francesco Sauro. The view from the belfry is more than rewarding for the strenuous way up: Nördlingen is a beautiful town in the middle of the triangle Nürnberg – Stuttgart – Munich in Bavaria, Germany. The medieval town-wall is circular and only has a slightly smaller diameter (1 km) than the meteorite (1,2-1,5 km) that fell from the sky and hit this place 15 million years ago. The result of this impact is still visible today: a crater that was initially around 28 km in diameter and almost one kilometre deep. Today a diameter of 25 km remains with a 500 m high rim.

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