How The Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Impacts Produced Chicxulub Crater

Posted: Nov 18 2016, 5:04am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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How the Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Impacts Produced Chicxulub Crater
This artwork show the asteroid that made the crater was probably moving at about 20km/s when it hit the Earth. Credit: SPL via BBC
  • Asteroid that Destroyed the Dinosaurs created Mountains in the Process

Scientists studying the Chicxulub crater say that they can now describe in detail that how the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs created mountains in the process that were like instant Himalayas.

How the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs created a crater in the process has been mapped by the scientists. A simulation of the happening which took place 66 million years ago was possible thanks to drilling the remaining crater and an analysis of its rocks.

The huge asteroid caused the planet to wobble like a blob of jelly. At a moment in the ancient impact, a mountain range larger than the Himalayas emerged and than rejoined the rubble. All this took place within a time period of a few minutes.

"And this all happens on the scale of minutes, which is quite amazing," Prof Joanna Morgan from Imperial College London, UK, told BBC News.

The simulation created by the scientists showed how the crater formation and catastrophic event influenced the earth on a large scale.

The clouds of smoke that rose into the skies darkened the horizon. Thanks to the climate change that took place, the dinosaurs went extinct thus giving rise to the mammals in their place.

The scientists focused on a 200 km wide bowl known as the peak ring. It contained the rocks that moved quite a distance during the cataclysm that took place so long ago.

Once the scientists examined the rocks, they ultimately came upon pink granite. The granite was not whole though. It was cracked and pulverized in its form.

The investigation into the matter revealed that the core materials painted a fascinating picture. The 15 km wide asteroid literally punctured the earth and formed a huge crater.

This crater was 30 km deep and 80-100 km in its diameter. Since it was unstable, it led to the rubble being pulled inwards. The rebound model of this process revealed a lot regarding what really went on when the asteroid impact took place.

It was almost like a sugar cube melted into a cup of tea. The rocks of the earth acted like a liquid when the asteroid struck.

Many other planets in the solar system are scarred with craters. This one which had a huge impact on the earth, wiped out the dinosaurs. It was the sort of catastrophe which occurs once in eons.

The researchers report their findings in this week's edition of Science Magazine.

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