Duane Hamacher, a PhD candidate at Macquarie University in Sydney, found a bowl-shaped crater in Palm Valley – about 130km south-west of Alice Springs – by searching for it on Google Earth after being tipped off by Aboriginal Dreamtime stories.
“Indigenous Australians tell lots of stories about stars falling out of the sky with a noise like thunder – and one of the stories gave a location in the Northern Territory,” the astronomer told the Northern Territory News.
“I searched for it on Google Earth, but when I really found something looking like a crater I couldn’t believe it.
“I was very hesitant with excitement as I thought I would look like an idiot if it was just something simple – but it wasn’t. It was a crater.”
When visiting the site with a team of geophysicists and astrophysicists, Mr Hamacher and his team found evidence of Palm Valley being an ancient meteorite crater.