What Happened the Day a Giant, Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Hit the Earth

Scientists Find Proof Of Massive Killer Asteroid That Killed Dinosaurs

Scientists Find Proof Of Massive Killer Asteroid That Killed Dinosaurs

For years scientists have blamed an asteroid for wiping out the dinosaurs, setting off wildfires and tsunamis and sending so much sulfur into the atmosphere that sunlight was obstructed upon impact. "Then the energy and thermal effects radiate out from the impact site at various speeds up to the speed of light".

For their study, the researchers led by Professor Sean Gulick of the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics traveled to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico to visit the Chicxulub crater, which was the ground zero for the planet-killer asteroid.

The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on September 9 and builds on earlier work co-led and led by the Jackson School that described how the crater formed and how life quickly recovered at the impact site.

"It tells us about impact processes from an eyewitness location", he said.

It has been theorized that when the asteroid hit the material that filled the crater, was created by the impact with water flowing into the crater.

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

The catastrophe not only decimated the dinosaurs, leaving only birds to carry their legacy, but also annihilated various forms of life from flying reptiles called pterosaurs to coil-shelled nautilus relatives called ammonites.

Within tens of minutes of the strike, the ring of rock around the impact point was smothered in about 40 meters of melted rock.

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By analysing the rocks, they found evidence that a resurging ocean and tsunami swept material back into the crater formed by the asteroid.

The melted rock indicates that the asteroid hit with the force of 10 billion atomic bombs, setting forests aflame for thousands of kilometres, and triggering a tsunami that reached as far as current IL.

Inside the crater, researchers found charcoal and soil fungi in, or just above, layers of sand that show signs of being deposited by rising waters.

A portion of the drilled cores from the rocks that filled the crater. The area around the crater is full of sulfur-rich rocks, and yet no sulfur was found within the core samples.

The charcoal, granite and other sediments revealed details of how the impact unleashed huge tsunamis and wildfires across the planet - along with a cloud of sulphur which blotted out the sun.

"The real killer has got to be atmospheric", Gulick said. "We fried them and then we froze them", Gulick said. "Not all the dinosaurs died that day, but many dinosaurs did". "It was a momentous day in the history of life, and this is a very clear documentation of what happened at ground zero", he said in a statement. 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.

The impact affected life far from the site. Geologists had detected and studied this effect before, but the new research reinforces the role this atmospheric disruption played in the extinction that followed.

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