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19 March 2020

Darkness, not cold, likely responsible for dinosaur-killing extinction

New research finds soot from global fires ignited by an asteroid impact could have blocked sunlight long enough to drive the mass extinction that killed most life on Earth, including the dinosaurs, 66 million years ago.

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17 January 2017

How darkness and cold killed the dinosaurs

Climate scientists have now reconstructed how tiny droplets of sulfuric acid formed high up in the air after a large asteroid impact 66 million years ago. The new research shows the sulfuric acid cooled Earth’s climate for years to come.

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16 December 2015

Problematic asteroids could be pushed off course by gentle thrusts

When faced with the threat of large Earth-bound asteroids, some have suggested deflecting the rocky bodies by striking them with large objects. Others prefer to nuke them. But there is a less violent approach…

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4 December 2015

Dinosaur-killing asteroid may have caused global algal bloom, marine extinction

The asteroid impact suspected of killing the dinosaurs may also have triggered a global algal bloom that contributed to a massive marine extinction more than 60 million years ago, according to a new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.

Around 66 million years ago, an asteroid 10 kilometers (six miles) in diameter slammed into the Yucatan peninsula, creating a crater 180 kilometers (110 miles) across and 20 kilometers (12 miles) deep. The Chicxulub impact sent tiny spheres of material up into the atmosphere where they became super-heated. Approximately 1023 of these microscopic spherules were ejected and re-entered the atmosphere to create a global carpet of silica glass 3-millimeters (0.19-inches) thick, known geologically as the Cretaceous-Paleogene layer.

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