<< Previous Next >>

Gosse's Bluff - Comet Impact Crater

Gosse's Bluff - Comet Impact Crater
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2002-07
Categories: Desert, Mountain
Camera: Canon EOS 1vHS, Canon 24-70 mm f 2,8 L-USM, Fuji Provia 100
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Earth from Above, TN Favourites [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-03-02 8:14
Viewed: 16447
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I am continuing posting for my theme ‘The Earth from Above’ and today am posting this shot – a scanned slide taken in 2002. Gosse’s Bluff is accessible from the Meerenie Loop road which runs through Aboriginal lands between King’s Canyon and Glen Helen – you do have to have a permit however (though it is only Aus$2). There is no form of habitation on the road.

Gosse’s Bluff, about 205 km west of Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory, is one of the most significant impact structures in the world. This crater is thought to have been made by the impact of a large comet or meteorite, about 143 million years ago. It has been estimated that the original crater would have been about 22 km in diameter, and that the object which made the crater would have been travelling at 40 km/sec and released energy equivalent to 22 000 megatonnes of TNT. The original impact caused major disruption of the mainly Cambrian to Devonian sandstone and conglomerate strata, with a zone of intense disruption extending down to 4000 m. The intense pressure pushed up and jumbled the rock strata, as well as pulverising some of the rock. Although no extraterrestrial debris has been found in or around the crater, rock structures called 'shatter cones' are present. These are rocks with concentric cone-like fractures, and with sets of parallel grooves on their surfaces, produced by extreme shock. The structure we now see in this shot is the result of erosion - the crater would originally have had an outer raised rim, now removed by erosion, and a prominent central peak. These hills would have been the base of the impact crater core of the original crater is now represented by a ring of low hills much further away. As we flew over the centre we cou;d see how the rocks had ‘boiled’ with the impact.

The site is known as Tnorala to the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people, and is a sacred place. It is now located in the Tnorala Conservation Reserve.

In the Dreamtime, the Milky Way was made of a group of Star-Women who danced across the sky. One of the women grew tired of carrying her baby as she danced, and placed him in his wooden baby-carrier, called a turna (pronounced toor-na). She rejoined the other women, and as they danced, the turna rolled over the edge of the dancing area and plummeted toward the earth. The baby crashed to the ground, his turna falling on top of him. The impact of the turna caused surrounding rocks to be thrust upward, forming the circular walls of Tnorala (the Aboriginal name for Gosse’s Bluff). The baby from the Milky Way was hidden from view by the settling clouds of red sand. His mother, the evening star, and his father, the morning star, still search for their missing child every day and every night.

SelenE, uleko, matatur, boreocypriensis, bobcat08, Heaven, cataclysta, vanderschelden, nglen, zulfu, pablominto, albert, bahadir, Necipp, CeltickRanger, haraprasan, hester, Adanac has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To bobcat08: Light planeJamesp 2 03-03 04:26
To Evelynn: ImpactJamesp 2 03-02 18:49
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-03-02 8:40]

Hello James,
Scenery, colors of the soil, POV, composition and lighting look very good. TFS
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-03-02 8:47]

Hello James,
It seems I'm surrounded by friends today - how nice! This is a great capture of this crater from a nice POV. Great focus and lovely colours. I expect this whole landscape may have looked different that long ago? Very interesting note! I find the aboriginees fascinating - we saw a brilliant exhibition about them in the Sydney museum - I do feel very sorry for the way they've been treated by "white" men!
Many thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-03-02 8:53]

Impressive shot James!
The image has real depth to it.
Excellent composition.
Superb detail and clarity especially seeing as you shot this through a plane window!
Nice, rich colours.
Very well done,


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-03-02 9:17]

Hi James,

I just love your scenes from above. Marvelous view of this crater with the sea behind it. Beautiful colors and you've captured wonderful details. Actually this scene reminds me of the American West.


Hello James
Little to say here apart from thank you for another stunningly informative photograph and note...To me its just perfect and what the site is about.

Hello James,
This is a very fine landscape photo cames from above! we always look the Bluff at a close distance but never looks at it as a crater as a whole!
good pov with a far horizon in perfect exposure and focus!
the sharpness in this shot is incredible with good colour
a very pleasing image much appreciated

Hello James,

A perfect shot of "the circular walls of Tnorala" What a beautiful landscape. But this landscape must be there awful rough ! Is a great panorama capture of this crater from a nice POV. Your POV was that an another mountain, or aircraft?? It is nice to see that the color of the landscape is realy red. When I cross by plane in 2005 the northern territory fo Australia to NZ you can see the red color very good. The compo and lighting are very good. Regards and TFS BOB

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2008-03-02 11:15]

Hi James!

You did a very good job here. The picture is fabulous! I'm impressed by the clarity and the wonderful colors. Moreover, the picture shows us a very interesting and particularly beautiful place.

Kind regards


Wonderful earth pattern, James.
Earth from above, definitely another point of view.
Is it taken from a helicopter or a little airplane?
Well done

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-03-02 12:36]

Hi James,
Wonderful aerial shot of this comet impacted crater. Looks awesome with such superb colour tones and sharpness. Your images and notes are so educative. You have captured this fantastic scene with a precisely chosen DOF and POV. Excellent composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-03-02 12:43]

Hi James. Once again the only way to view this one. having read your notes it makes the picture all that more interesting. good detail ans amazing colour. against the clear blue sky. well done TFS.

This is a dramatic image. It is hard to really appreciate the scale, but it is big. The horizon must be some lens distortion... not the curve of the earth from that altitude??? It is great shot if a bit disturbing. If a meteorite wants to drop into the Australian Out back that is one thing.... but in my backyard... hmmmm that is another matter.

Evelynn ; )

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-03-02 16:16]

Hi James,
A beautiful landscape capture. Perfect! TFS.

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2008-03-02 22:13]

Hello James,
Beautiful presentation, What impact it must been
great sharpness and composition.. Well done


Hello James,
This is an interesting capture!
The details of the landscape are well recorded, and the colours are amazing...
Good angle of light adds structure to the scenery, impressive image!
Pablo -

Hi James
I think that you are the only member with that kind of posts. Another great image. I also like the note

Amazing topography expertly captured and composed James, thanks for this rare sight my friend.

Hi James,

A perfect landscape capture my friend with excelent details and nice composition. TFS.


  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-03-03 3:18]

The fact that it was created 143 millions years ago shows just how old Australia is and the scary thing is, there's plenty more where that came from!
An excellent shot James, really like it, the colours and detail are again very impressive. Keep your Earth from Above theme going, i'm really enjoying them!

Hi James,
Interesting landscape
Good results too from a scanned slide
Beautiful color and light
Best regards

Hi James,
Great capture of this beautifully coloured landscape, nice colors and composition. TFS.
Regards, Bahadır

Wow James awsome place again it reminds me of the Lost world dinosaur film. Such awsome wilderness waiting to be discoved. Great photo oppourtunities with your flights. Excellent details throughout. tfs rgds Necip.

Hi James,
What a stunning view of this huge crate from air. A very good capture and well scanned. Very nice composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

hello James

WOW ! what a great landscape shot of this crater from the airs,
excellent POV and the the photo being shot by the airs
we can see the sea, it adds an extra to this great image,
excellent luminositu, excellent sharpness & details, TFS


  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-03-05 9:43]

Hi James

This shot of the creased and damaged earth and wonderful red iron tones looks wonderful. The shot is even better with the great note



  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-03-06 19:45]

Hello James,
Splendid story to go with this beautiful image, thanks for sharing both.

Calibration Check