Press Esc to close
Thursday 05 May 2016
News updated at 5:26 PM IST
Weather
Max: 35.6°C
Min : 25.5°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Comet, not asteroid, wiped out dinosaurs?

New York, Mar 24, 2013 (PTI)

A speeding comet, rather than an asteroid, slammed into the Earth 65 million years ago and sparked the extinction of the dinosaurs, scientists claim.

Many scientists believe the 180 km Chicxulub crater in Mexico was made by the impact that caused the extinction of dinosaurs and about 70 per cent of all species on Earth.

The crater was probably blasted out by a faster, smaller object than previously thought, according to the new study presented at the 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas.

Evidence of the space rock's impact comes from a worldwide layer of sediments containing high levels of the element iridium, dubbed the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary, which could not have occurred on Earth naturally.

The new study suggests the often-cited iridium values are incorrect. Scientists compared these values with levels of osmium, another element delivered by the impact.

Their calculations suggest the space rock generated less debris than previously thought, implying the space rock was a smaller object, 'LiveScience' reported.

The researchers concluded in order for the smaller rock to have created the giant Chicxulub crater, it had to have been going exceedingly fast.

Their results indicate the impact is more compatible with a long-period comet, which can take hundreds, thousands or sometimes millions of years to orbit the Sun once.
It is possible that a rapidly moving asteroid could have caused the Chicxulub impact crater, but the fastest-moving objects that have been observed are mostly comets, researchers said.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Anganwadi workers shouting slogans during a protest rally by members of Nikhila Odisha Anganwadi...

Anganwadi workers shouting slogans during a protest rally by members of Nikhila Odisha Anganwadi...

Laborers pack newborn chicks into crates in Jammu...

Laborers pack newborn chicks into crates in Jammu...

A Kingfisher holds a prey (fish) in its beak on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar...

A Kingfisher holds a prey (fish) in its beak on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar...

Tourists ride Shikaras as they enjoy the cool weather at Dal Lake in Srinagar...

Tourists ride Shikaras as they enjoy the cool weather at Dal Lake in Srinagar...

Painted Storks catching fish in a pond at their enclosure in Kolkata Zoo...

Painted Storks catching fish in a pond at their enclosure in Kolkata Zoo...

Indian Air Force contingent of Ex Red Flag 16-1 at Eielson Air Force Base Alaska, USA...

Indian Air Force contingent of Ex Red Flag 16-1 at Eielson Air Force Base Alaska, USA...

A Royal Bengal Tiger at its enclosure in Kolkata Zoo on Wednesday...

A Royal Bengal Tiger at its enclosure in Kolkata Zoo on Wednesday...

Plantain Crop damaged at hunsur due to haevy rain...

Plantain Crop damaged at hunsur due to haevy rain...

Sapthagiri college of Engineering  students are using  Pulsar 220 DTSl Engine designed a 12 Feet...

Sapthagiri college of Engineering students are using Pulsar 220 DTSl Engine designed a 12 Feet...

A security person walks as clouds hover over the Parliament house during the Parliament session...

A security person walks as clouds hover over the Parliament house during the Parliament session...