Asteroid bought an end to the dinosaurs, crater rocks show

Asteroid bought an end to the dinosaurs, crater rocks show

Researchers have found traces of the massive asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs and triggered a series of catastrophic Earth-ending events 66 million years ago. "We interpret this section to represent the first day post impact, which by the definition of the geologic time scale, makes it the first day of the Cenozoic since the Cretaceous ended the moment the asteroid struck", Gulick says.

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

The new research was based on rocks collected in 2016 from the Chicxulub impact site off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

In research published Monday, the team studying the impact crater off the Gulf of Mexico found charcoal and soil that were blasted thousands of miles away and then sucked back inwards by the far-reaching tsunami that swept across the Americas.

Scientists have thrown light on the day when a giant asteroid smashed into our planet - unleashing a awful firestorm which blotted out the sun, and killed the dinoaurs. Within one day, 130 meters (425 feet) of material was deposited within the crater - among the highest in the geological record.

Researchers estimate the asteroid hit with the equivalent power of 10 billion atomic bombs of the size used in World War II. That backs the theory that the asteroid vaporized the sulfur minerals at the impact site sending it into the atmosphere which reflected sunlight away and ushered in the cooling period. This breakneck rate of accumulation means that the rocks record what was happening in the environment within and around the crater in the minutes and hours after impact and give clues about the longer-lasting effects of the impact that wiped out 75% of life on the planet.

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The impact then generated a tsunami several hundred meters high which reached as far as modern day IL in the US.

The huge Chicxulub crater is a remnant of one of the most consequential days in the history of life on Earth. The area surrounding the impact crater is full of sulfur-rich rocks. What's more, researchers said they found evidence that the burned landscape was also pulled into the crater when the tsunami receded.

Jay Melosh, a Purdue University professor and expert on impact cratering, said that finding evidence for wildfire helps scientists know that their understanding of the asteroid impact is on the right track. 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.

This caused the climate to cool down in the following years which led to the giant animal species that lived at the time.

Professor Sean Gulick, who led the study, told CNN: "For me personally, successfully collecting the cores from the peak ring of the Chicxulub crater was the fruit of years of proposal writing and planning made reality". 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.

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