Scientists confirm that an asteroid finished off the dinosaurs


The infamous "rocks fall, everyone dies" trope has never seemed quite so relevant. A group of American and European researchers recently confirmed that it was indeed a flaming chunk of rock—and not a cadre of malevolent aliens—that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Sort of.

According to ExtremeTech, the culprit was an asteroid that measured roughly 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) across. When it crashed into Chicxulub, it left an crated 180-kilometers (about 112-miles) wide and released about 420 zettajoules of energy (that's two million times stronger than the largest thermonuclear device we humans have ever used).

Impressive as all that may sound, there was previously not quite enough evidence to show that the Chicxulub impact was what caused the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction—until now, that is.

After re-testing debris from Chicxulub, the aforementioned crew of scientists discovered that impact occured somewhere between 66.03 and 66.04 million years ago, something that places it within the same time frame as the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction schedule.

As Sherlock Holmes probably would have phrased it... geology, my dear Watson.

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This story, "Scientists confirm that an asteroid finished off the dinosaurs" was originally published by TechHive.

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