Melbourne, Aug 15 (ANI): Software scientists have discovered a 10 kilometre wide crater like structure in the Bayuda Desert of Sudan using Google Maps.
If confirmed, it will be the second such discovery using the popular online mapping tool and could spawn a new generation of home-based amateur crater hunters.
Amelia Sparavigna from the Politecnico di Torino in Italy said she got the idea from Italian researcher Vincenzo de Micheles who identified an impact crater in the remote desert of southern Egypt in 2008 using Google Earth.
Located between the fourth and sixth cataract, the area is characterised by basaltic rocks from ancient volcanoes.
Sparavigna noticed "a non-perfect round shape about 40 kilometres in diameter" on the eastern bank of river Nile.
She then processed the original Google Maps satellite image with an astronomical image-processing program.
"Aerial photography is expensive and satellite imagery doesn't always have good enough resolution. But in this case they have been able to generate some interesting images which have been further enhanced," ABC Science quoted Professor David Cohen, a geologist, as saying.
"These don't mean they're impact craters. It could be the collapse of a magma chamber. The only way to be certain is to go there and look at the mineral evidence," he added.
Sparavigna has detailed her discovery on the pre-press website arXiv.org. (ANI)