Evidence of Impact That Killed Dinosaurs Found on the Moon

Evidence of asteroid impact that killed dinosaurs é  found on the moon (Photo: Getty Images)

Evidence of asteroid impact that killed dinosaurs is found on the Moon (Photo: Getty Images)

  • Asteroid impacts on the Moon, which occurred millions of years ago, correspond to the collision that wiped out the dinosaurs;

  • Scientists studied microscopic glass spheres in samples of lunar soil to arrive at the result;

  • The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was approximately 10 kilometers wide.

Scientists at the Curtin University Space Science and Technology Center (SSTC) in Australia have found that asteroid impacts on the Moon, which occurred millions of years ago, correspond to the massive collision that helped wipe the dinosaurs off our planet. The results were obtained by studying microscopic glass spheres in lunar soil samples returned to Earth by China’s Chang’e-5 mission in 2020.

The researchers reconstructed a timeline of the lunar bombardment by assessing the ages of these glass shards. In doing so, the SSTC team found that both the timing and frequency of the asteroid’s impacts on the Moon were mirrored by collisions of space rocks on Earth, meaning that the timeline the team constructed could also provide information about the moon’s impact. evolution of our planet.

“We combined a wide range of microscopic analytical techniques, numerical modeling and geological surveys to determine how these microscopic moon glass beads were formed and when,” said lead author Alexander Nemchin, a professor at SSTC, in a statement.

The ages of some of the lunar glass microsamples indicated that they were created around 66 million years ago, around the time the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs hit Earth in what is now the Gulf of Mexico, near the Yucatan Peninsula. , In Mexico.

The roughly 10-kilometer-wide asteroid hit Earth at about 19.3 kilometers per second, or 69,524 km/h, leaving an impact crater measuring about 150 km wide and 12 miles (19 km) deep. In addition to the shock waves generated by the initial impact, the asteroid’s impact caused a number of life-altering knock-on effects, including the release of thick clouds of dust that blocked out the sun.

The team now intends to compare the data collected from Chang’e-5’s lunar soil samples with other lunar soil samples and with the ages of craters on the lunar surface. This analysis could reveal other impact events on the Moon and, in turn, help uncover signs of asteroid impacts here on Earth that may have affected life.

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