Scientists discover crater similar to the one formed by asteroid collision that decimated dinosaurs

Illustration shows dinosaur next to fire collision

Credit, Getty Images

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Nadir Crater may have some connection with Chicxulub Crater, generated by an asteroid impact 66 million years ago

The discovery of a crater in West Africa raises new questions about what happened on the fateful day that an asteroid collided with what is now the Gulf of Mexico 66 million years ago, leading to the extinction of the dinosaurs and the formation of the famous Chicxulub Crater.

Recently revealed by scientists, the Nadir crater is about 8.5 km in diameter, is 400 km off the coast of Guinea and 300 meters below the sea. Its estimated age is similar to that of the Chicxulub crater, which raises the possibility that they are somehow related — for example, both could have formed after the impact of fragments from the same asteroid.

Likely, the Nadir crater was formed by the collision of an asteroid that was just under 0.5 km in diameter, while the one that created the Chicxulub crater was estimated to be 12 km in diameter.

The asteroid that fell in the Gulf of Mexico region unleashed powerful earthquakes, tsunamis and a firestorm. So much dusty material reached the sky that the Earth went into deep cooling. Dinosaurs did not survive the climate shock.

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