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Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Punched a Hole On Earth's Crust

Nov 24, 2016 11:46 AM EST
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Researchers are trying to prove if the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs punched a hole on the Earth's crust
(Photo : Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

A new study says that the dinosaur-killing asteroid not only killed the breed but also punched a hole in Earth's crust that remains visible until today. Reports say that a six-mile wide asteroid that impacted the Earth about 65 million years ago created an 18-mile deep hole in the Earth's crust. This mark still bore evidence of the impact until today.

The findings of the new study was published in the journal Science. The conclusion was discovered after a group of scientists drilled in Mexico this year in a location potentially identified as the impact crater of the dinosaur-killing asteroid. The study is originally focused on understanding the evolution of the planet and dinosaur extinction while experts from the Imperial College London and the University of Texas conducted the study.

In the study, it was analyzed how asteroids and other space rocks contribute to the formation of objects in space that they collide with or hit. To enable the research, rock samples from a crater called Chicxulub was collected. The samples are expected to provide information on how asteroids and space rocks could have shaped the Earth and other planets that also suffered from impacts. The dinosaur-killing asteroid for one is believed to have punched a hole in the Earth's crust due to the size of the space rock and the intensity of the impact.

But the interesting part is the attributes of the crater Chicxulub. Results showed that the formations and its elevated peak are similar to craters found on other celestial bodies such as the moon. The question scientists are working on is how the crater formed. One theory is that the asteroid hit the planet and went deep into the planet thus the elevated molten and solid rock formations.

"It's incredible that a biosphere may be produced in that environment as well", Sonia Tikoo, assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers' University said in an interview.

This lead to the assumption that, it if happened during the dinosaur era, the impact could have disrupted the dinosaurs and the heat from the explosion could have been the cause of their demise. Due to the heat, fireballs will start flying, causing global forest fires. A bounty of natural disasters will also follow after such impact including earthquakes and tsunamis. If that's the scenario, about 90 percent of all living things would have died, according to the study.

The researchers are committed to digging deep into the crater to find out if is indeed the mark of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs on Earth.


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