Published: Wed, September 11, 2019
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Scientists Find Proof Of Massive Killer Asteroid That Killed Dinosaurs

Scientists Find Proof Of Massive Killer Asteroid That Killed Dinosaurs

"Then the energy and thermal effects radiate out from the impact site at various speeds up to the speed of light".

The researchers from University of Texas, Austin performed analysis of rocks from the crater ring by using drill aboard the Myrtle Lifeboat. The team's study, "The first day of the Cenozoic", was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The new research showed scientists that the impact "created a big tidal wave that washed across this continent, and really changed the face of the planet in that location - or, really, changed the face of the planet overall entirely", Pitts said.

Now a study by the University of Austin in Texas has confirmed the theory.

"It's an expanded record of events that we were able to recover from within ground zero", said Gulick, who led the study and co-led the 2016 International Ocean Discovery Program scientific drilling mission that retrieved the rocks from the impact site offshore of the Yucatan Peninsula.

While everyone knows an asteroid killed Earth's dinosaurs, how exactly it achieved this has remained the subject of some debate.

By analysing the rocks, they found evidence that a resurging ocean and tsunami swept material back into the crater formed by the asteroid. Under a thin ring of overlying material is over 400 feet of melt rock that was laid down during the day following the impact.

The sea battered against the new hole in the planet, and in the minutes and hours that followed, surges of water rushing back into the crater carried laid down more than 260 additional feet of melted stone atop the already accumulated rock. Upon impact, fires broke out, with trees and plants thousands of miles away igniting.


Charcoal and a chemical biomarker linked to soil fungi were also found within or above layers of sand in the impact crater. "The complication with relating individual deposits in the core to specific types of events is that clearly the crater wasn't a static environment after formation", Witts says, meaning that earthquakes, waves and other events have altered the rock record over the course of 66 million years.

"We fried them and then we froze them", he said in a statement.

Based on the core samples (see below), the team estimates the impactor hit with the force of 10 billion Hiroshima atomic bombs.

"Not all the dinosaurs died that day, but many dinosaurs did", Gulick said.

The vast Chicxulub crater is a remnant of one of the most consequential days in the history of life on Earth.

"The real killer has got to be atmospheric", Gulick said. A mass extinction would require planetwide catastrophe, and a quick addition of sulphur and other molecules to the atmosphere could have caused global cooling and darkness. Pitts said the asteroid was six miles wide - and that when it hit Earth, it created a crater 90 miles wide and 18 miles deep that blew 25 trillion metric tons of material into the atmosphere.

Interestingly, life quickly recovered at the site.

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