Fri, 10 Jul 2020

Dinosaur Extinction: Power of Chicxulub Meteorites

Merxwire
08 Jun 2020, 02:49 GMT+10

65 million years ago, due to the impact of meteorites, dinosaurs became extinct. This is what most people know about the extinction of dinosaurs. But there are still many details of the meteorite impact, let us discuss together.

London, UK (Merxwire) - One day 66 million years ago, the earth was suddenly hit by a 12~15-kilometre meteorite, which caused a large number of rocks to be gasified, obscured sunlight, and acid rain on the sky for months. The tremendous changes in the climate have caused the disappearance of 75% of the species on the planet and caused the extinction of dinosaurs.

Professor Gareth Collins of Imperial College London found that the reason for the extinction of dinosaurs, in addition to the "super-large meteorite hitting the earth", there are three factors such as the impact location, impact direction and impact angle of the meteorite, forming a "perfect storm" This is the reason for the extinction of real dinosaurs.

Meteorite Angle

Scientists have studied four possible angles of impact: 90 degrees, 60 degrees, 45 degrees, and 30 degrees, and two impact speeds: 12 kilometers per second and 20 kilometers per second.

Among them, the data most consistent with the study: the impact angle of 60 degrees. Collins said: "60 degrees is a deadly angle of impact, and the ejected material has more mass, which can affect the entire earth. The strong impact of the Chicxulub meteorite caused a large number of biological extinctions, because it caused a large amount of dust and gas to be quickly ejected, and it was globally diffusion."

He also believes that if an asteroid strikes frontally or at a more oblique angle, not so many debris will enter the atmosphere.

Power of Chicxulub Meteorites

The space rock would have thrown enormous amounts of dust, sulfur and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and it was the abundance of sulfur in these clouds that may have caused Earth's average surface air temperatures to drop by as much as 47 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius) in the long term. It takes more than 30 years for the earth to gradually return to its original state.

When this asteroid with a temperature of up to 10,000 degrees Celsius hit the earth, it initially triggered a volcanic eruption and a severe tsunami, which caused the dinosaurs living around to be affected and died. However, those surviving dinosaurs because of insufficient food supply and sustained low temperature Cause death.

Chicxulub Crater

The crater is estimated to be 150 kilometers (93 miles) in diameter and 20 kilometers (12 miles) in depth, well into the continental crust of the region of about 10"30 kilometers (6.2"18.6 miles) depth. It is the second largest confirmed impact structure on Earth, and the only one whose peak ring is intact and directly accessible for scientific research.

Chicxulub models had predicted what should happen when a 12km-wide stony object from space punched the ground. Initially, a near-instantaneous bowl would have been created some 30km deep and up to 100km wide. Then, instabilities would have seen the sides collapse inwards and the base of the hole rebound skyward, briefly reaching higher than the Himalayas.

Buried beneath thousands of feet of limestone in the Yucatn Peninsula are the remains of an impact so great that it wiped out over half of the Earths species. The Chicxulub Crater, named after the village which lies near its center, spans over 110 miles wide, with about half of it resting below the Gulf of Mexico.

Reference materials:
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45986449
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicxulub_crater
https://www.lpi.usra.edu/science/kring/Chicxulub/discovery/

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