What really happened when the
Where armies of trees once stretched skywards, seemingly escaping from the thickets of ferns and shrubs that clawed at their roots, only scorched trunks remain. Instead of the incessant hum of insect chatter blotting out canada goose victoria parka outlet the sound of ponderous giant dinosaurs, only the occasional flurry of wind pierces the silence. Darkness rules: the rich blues and greens, and occasional yellows and reds that danced in the Sun’s rays have all been wiped out.
This is Earth after a six mile wide asteroid smashed into it 66 million years ago.
„In the course of minutes to hours it went from this lush, vibrant world to just absolute silence and nothing,” says Daniel Durda, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado. „Especially in the thousands of square miles around the impact site, the slate was just wiped clean.”
uk canada goose outlet Much like putting in all the edge pieces of a jigsaw, scientists have outlined the lasting impacts of the meteor strike. It claimed canada goose discount uk the lives of more than three quarters of the animal and plant species on Earth. canada goose outlet mall The most famous casualties were the dinosaurs although in fact many of them survived in the form of birds. uk canada goose outlet
But filling in the details, especially what followed the impact and what enabled some life to survive, has proved more challenging.
Canada Goose Coats On Sale View image of The Chicxulub impact crater is buried (Credit: D. van Ravenswaay/Science Photo Library) Canada Goose Coats On Sale
canada goose coats The idea that the dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid strike was first proposed in 1980. At the time it was a controversial suggestion. canada goose coats
We will get to look at what is likely to be a sterile ocean at ground zero right after the impact
Then in 1991, geologists discovered the impact site: cheap canada goose a crater 180km (110 miles) across on Mexico’s Yucat Peninsula. They named it Chicxulub, after the nearest town.
The crater was far from obvious, canada goose outlet 2015 because it is underground. The northern half is also offshore, buried under 600m https://www.canadagooseoutlets.biz (660 yards) of ocean sediments.
canada goose uk shop So in April 2016, researchers began drilling nearly a mile down into the offshore section of the crater, to extract core samples 10 feet (3m) long. The team will analyse these extracts for changes in rock type, tiny fossils and perhaps even DNA trapped in the rock. canada goose uk shop
canada goose uk outlet „We will get to look at what is likely to be a sterile ocean at ground zero right after the impact, and then we can watch life come back,” says canada goose outlet london uk Sean Gulick canada goose outlet black friday of the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, who is involved in the drilling. canada goose uk outlet
View image of Illustration of the Chicxulub crater (Credit: Spencer Sutton/Science Photo Library)
It has been possible to figure certain things out without drilling into the crater.
The asteroid seared through the sky at more than 40 times the speed of sound
In particular, given the dimensions of the crater, scientists have calculated how much energy the impact delivered.
Using this information Durda, with David Kring of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Texas, simulated the canada goose outlet store quebec fine details of the collision and predicted what knock on events it might have set off. Researchers have then been able to test this scenario with the fossil record to see if the model’s predictions actually took place.
canada goose black friday sale „All of those kinds of calculations have been laboriously toiled over,” says palaeobotanist Kirk Johnson, a director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. „You can build a scenario where you can walk your way through the moment of impact, the last second of the Cretaceous Period, and then step yourself forward over the minutes, hours, days, months, and years after the event.” canada goose black friday sale
cheap canada goose uk These studies tell a cataclysmic story. cheap canada goose uk
View image of A tsunami swept the Gulf of Mexico (Credit: Richard Bizley/Science Photo Library)
The asteroid seared through the sky at more than 40 times the speed of sound and slammed into the Earth’s crust. It produced an explosion equivalent to 100 trillion tons of TNT, roughly seven billion times as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb.
uk canada goose Basically you are looking at a 10km diameter bullet uk canada goose
canada goose factory sale The plunge into the Earth’s crust sent shock waves across the landscape. canada goose factory sale
Tsunamis between 100 and 300m high surged across the Gulf of Mexico and ripped up the seafloor down to depths of 500m. Magnitude 10 earthquakes destroyed the coastline and the radiating air blast canada goose outlet washington dc flattened any forests within thousands of kilometres. Finally, tons of rock showered from the sky, burying any remaining life.
„Basically you are looking at a 10km diameter bullet,” Johnson says. „The physics is just extraordinary. You get just this incredible explosion, incredible earthquakes, incredible tsunamis, and then anywhere within several hundred kilometres of the site you have building size blocks raining down on the landscape.”
But these regional impacts alone did not cause the global mass canada goose outlet real extinction.
View image of Debris from the impact enveloped the world (Credit: Chris Butler/Science Photo Library)
When the asteroid hit, it vaporised a large chunk of the Earth’s crust. The debris rose like a fiery plume above the impact site, punching its way through the sky.