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Finally confirmed: An asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs

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Finally confirmed: An asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs

artist-impression-asteroid-impact-earth-640x353.jpg

A team of American and European researchers have confirmed that the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction — the event that wiped out roughly 75% of the planet’s species, including almost every dinosaur — was caused by an asteroid impact in Mexico 66 million years ago. The Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction was the last great extinction event to occur on Earth, and is most notable for causing the diversification of mammals that eventually resulted in Homo sapiens.

66 million years ago an asteroid roughly 15 kilometers (9 miles) wide hurtled into Chicxulub, Mexico. The collision, which left behind a 180-kilometer (110-mile) crater, released 420 zettajoules of energy — 100 teratonnes of TNT, or roughly two million times stronger than the largest thermonuclear device ever used (the Russian Tsar Bomba). The impact created a huge dust cloudicon1.png that blocked out the Sun, starting the extinction ball rolling by killing off much of the world’s plants, and thus the herbivores soon after. Due to high levels of oxygen in the Cretaceous atmosphere, the impact may also have caused intense, global firestorms that killed off many other species. Because the asteroid landed in the ocean, megatsunamis would’ve swept the world’s coasts, too.

Chicxulub_radar_topography-268x300.jpg

Chicxulub topography. You can just about see a portion of the impact crater in the top left corner.

Until now, though, there hasn’t been enough evidence that the Chicxulub impact actuallycaused the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction. There was certainly a massive asteroid impact, but previous evidence showed that the asteroid impact occurred up to 300,000 years before the extinction of the dinosaurs. Biologists and geologists have argued that there may have been another cause — an impact at the Shiva crater off the coast of India, global volcanic eruptions, or perhaps something more gradual.

Now, however, European and American scientists have re-tested debris from Chicxulub using state-of-the-art equipment and narrowed the asteroid impact down to a period of 11,000 years, between 66.03 and 66.04 million years agoalmost simultaneous with the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction. When dealing with geological timescales, a range of 11,000 years is about as accurate as you can get. As the research paper puts it, though, “the Chicxulub impact likely triggered a state shift of ecosystems already under near-critical stress.” In other words, prior to the extinction event, Earth was already teetering on the edge of self-annihilation. The asteroid was simply the zettajoule stick that broke T-Rex’s back.

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It's true but it only happened 6000 years ago

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Asteroid 2012 DA14 – Earth Flyby Reality Check

02.04.13

Small near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass very close to Earth on February 15, so close that it will pass inside the ring of geosynchronous weather and communications satellites. NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office can accurately predict the asteroid's path with the observations obtained, and it is therefore known that there is no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with Earth. Nevertheless, the flyby will provide a unique opportunity for researchers to study a near-Earth object up close. Here are the facts about the safe flyby of Earth of asteroid 2012 DA14 -- a record close approach for a known object of this size.

Update Feb. 7, 2013

Asteroid 2012 DA14 Flyby Preview

NASA held a media teleconference on Thursday, Feb. 7, to discuss asteroid 2012 DA14 which will have a very close, but safe, flyby of Earth on Feb. 15, 2013. Also discussed are NASA's efforts to find potentially hazardous near-Earth objects

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=159372691

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=159378831

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=159069511

724124main1_2012da14rp36-673.jpg

Graphic depicts the trajectory of asteroid 2012 DA14 on Feb 15, 2013. In this view, we are looking down from above Earth's north pole. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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so does this mean that dinosaur's didnt turn into birds ?

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That's the 3rd largest known crater on the planet:

Show Spelled [as-truh-bleem] Show IPA

noun Geology .

an erosional scar on the earth's surface, produced by the impact of a cosmic body, as a meteorite or asteroid. Compare crater ( def 2 ) .

Origin:

1965–70; < astro- + -bleme (< Greek blêma shot, wound)

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It's true but it only happened 6000 years ago

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Interesting,

It gets you thinking that maybe the massive asteroid gained orbit around the earth after impact, becoming what we know as the moon. It would explain why both the Earth and the moon are rotating.

Just speculation of course.

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i dont think it was possible for a t-rex to..,.,

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Interesting,

It gets you thinking that maybe the massive asteroid gained orbit around the earth after impact, becoming what we know as the moon. It would explain why both the Earth and the moon are rotating.

Just speculation of course.

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Blasphemy! Witchcraft! Dinosaurs as we all know were rendered extinct by Jesus. I mean....really.

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