• Was southern peninsular India hit by an asteroid larger than the one that wiped out dinosaurs?
  • Is the land between present day Nilgiris and Kodaikanal located on a crater formed by the impact?
  • The investigations included megascopic (done with the unaided eye) and microscopic studies of rocks along with analyses of chemical signatures.
  • The Kaveri Crater is between Nilgiris and Kodaikanal.
  • Both the Palghat Gap (a mountain pass) and Dhimbam Ghats are a part of the Kaveri Crater, with the geological evidence stretching up to Belakavadi and Shivanasamudra in Karnataka.
  • The coordinates are 10º20’ to 11º30’N latitude and 76º50’ to 78ºE longitude, and the centre of the crater is close to 11ºN and 77º30’E.
  • The study, which was funded by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, suggests that the crater has a diameter of 120 km.
  • The asteroid hit may have taken place 800 million to 550 million years ago.
  • Unlike the impact event that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago, this one took place when there were very primitive life forms.
  • Based on crater size and impact angle, the geologists conclude that the extra-terrestrial object was at least five km in diameter.
  • Unlike smaller craters, Kaveri Crater can be visualised only through satellite images.