Press Esc to close
Thursday 27 April 2017
News updated at 6:14 PM IST

Comet, not asteroid, wiped out dinosaurs?

New York, Mar 24, 2013 (PTI) 15:27 IST
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
Priyanka Chopra at a promotional event for her upcoming film ‘Baywatch’ in Mumbai on Wednesday...

Priyanka Chopra at a promotional event for her upcoming film ‘Baywatch’ in Mumbai on Wednesday...

Maria Sharapova at a training session at the WTA Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany...

Maria Sharapova at a training session at the WTA Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany...

A cake weighing 30 kg is cut as part of celebrations outside BSE as Sensex ended above the...

A cake weighing 30 kg is cut as part of celebrations outside BSE as Sensex ended above the...

Family members of CRPF jawan Naresh Yadav, mourn in Darbhanga on Wednesday. He was martyred in...

Family members of CRPF jawan Naresh Yadav, mourn in Darbhanga on Wednesday. He was martyred in...

Soldiers of the Arctic motorised rifle brigade of Russia's Northern Fleet stand near APCs...

Soldiers of the Arctic motorised rifle brigade of Russia's Northern Fleet stand near APCs...

Blossoming apple trees are covered in snow near Altenstadt, Germany...

Blossoming apple trees are covered in snow near Altenstadt, Germany...

A watermelon vendor takes a nap on a hot day in Chennai on Wednesday...

A watermelon vendor takes a nap on a hot day in Chennai on Wednesday...

A boy jumps into the river Ganga to beat the heat in Kolkata on Wednesday...

A boy jumps into the river Ganga to beat the heat in Kolkata on Wednesday...

A newly-built aircraft carrier is transferred from dry dock into the water at a launch ceremony...

A newly-built aircraft carrier is transferred from dry dock into the water at a launch ceremony...

U.S. Army's M1 A2 tanks fire during the South Korea-U.S. joint military live-fire drills...

U.S. Army's M1 A2 tanks fire during the South Korea-U.S. joint military live-fire drills...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.