Impact Craters are Laboratories for Planetary Sciences

Visiting Dr. Ludovic Ferriere in Vienna.

Dr. Ludovic Ferriere, curator of the space rock collection in Natural History Museum in Vienna

Not long ago I was in Vienna to visit a great scientist who is an active contributor to the meteorite community, an author and the chief curator of the world`s largest display of meteorites, a must to see! at the Natural History Museum in Vienna, Dr. Ludovic Ferriere.


Between his scientific work and taking care of the international meteorite treasure, Dr. Ferriere travels the globe in search of new impact craters to be confirmed. Each new impact crater brings important additional information about the formation of our Solar System. Impact events played a significant role in our geological past by influencing the evolution of life on Earth.

Confirmed meteorite impact craters around the globe


We could say that terrestrial impact craters are some kind of laboratories for planetary sciences. The advantage here is, that we can access them directly whereas only imagery is available for other planetary bodies. Comparative studies of planetary bodies enable us to better understand impacts across celestial bodies inside our Solar System.

As he explains: “Every single new discovery brings new parameters for the people who are researching the early days of our planet through mathematical modeling. We have satellite images of impact craters, yet the importance of physical evidence and new data obtained by researching the samples is very important.”

Yet only 198 impact craters on Earth have been confirmed so far.


Egypt, one of the expeditions of Dr. Ferriere


Every year, Dr. Ferriere aims to confirm further impact craters caused by asteroids. One of his famous and huge impact discoveries was the Luizi crater, 17 km in diameter, in the remote Democratic Republic of the Congo, nine years ago. The importance was emphasized in many news worldwide including National Geographic. As a comparison, at that time, only 182 meteorite impact craters were known on Earth.


Stellar Milieux is joining Dr. Ferriere on his mission of finding and confirming new impact craters. Some expeditions are more dangerous and require professional assistance from the locals. On other expeditions, remote as well, yet not as dangerous, Dr. Ferriere is happy to take his supporters with him to help with collecting samples for later examination. It is truly a unique chance to get a glimpse at what it means to be a field scientist. Feel free to get in touch for more information about the next expeditions into the untraveled parts of our planet.


Dr. Ludovic Ferriere is also an author of one of the greatest books that will give you just the right insight about the rocks from space. I am happy to have gotten one as a gift. You can get yours online or at the Natural History Museum of Vienna. Dr. Ludovic Ferriere is very friendly and has further helped us with contacts of great meteorite hunters and science supporters. We are more than glad to support his mission and the contribution he is bringing to the science of impact craters and meteorites.