Press Esc to close
Wednesday 25 May 2016
News updated at 2:57 AM IST
Weather
Max: 34.1°C
Min : 22.7°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
Girls cover themselves during a dust storm in mathura on Monday...

Girls cover themselves during a dust storm in mathura on Monday...

Renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand art to aware people about water scarcity...

Renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand art to aware people about water scarcity...

English actor Sir Ian McKellen and Bollywood actor Aamir Khan share lighter moments...

English actor Sir Ian McKellen and Bollywood actor Aamir Khan share lighter moments...

A senior Army Officer presents the Sher-e-Kashmir Sword of Honour to a new recruit...

A senior Army Officer presents the Sher-e-Kashmir Sword of Honour to a new recruit...

People watching the air ambulance which crash landed at Kair village in Najafgarh area...

People watching the air ambulance which crash landed at Kair village in Najafgarh area...

Demi Moore poses for photographers as she arrives for The Vogue 100 Gala Dinner...

Demi Moore poses for photographers as she arrives for The Vogue 100 Gala Dinner...

Nuremberg and Frankfurt players jump for the ball during a German first division Bundesliga soccer..

Nuremberg and Frankfurt players jump for the ball during a German first division Bundesliga soccer..

People hang fish to dry on bamboo poles in Mumbai...

People hang fish to dry on bamboo poles in Mumbai...

A cyclist with his daughter pedals his cycle holding an umbrella...

A cyclist with his daughter pedals his cycle holding an umbrella...

An elderly vendor waits for customers of green grass during rains in Srinagar....

An elderly vendor waits for customers of green grass during rains in Srinagar....

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523