Friday, April 11, 2014

Dino-Killing Asteroid Impact Dwarfed by Earlier Space Rock Crash


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Dino Asteroid Comparison
A graphical representation of the size of the asteroid thought to have killed the dinosaurs, and the crater it created, compared to an asteroid thought to have hit the Earth 3.26 billion years ago and the size of the crater it may have generated. Credit: American Geophysical Union

By Mike Wall
space.com
4-10-14

      Scientists have reconstructed a long-ago asteroid impact that makes the strike that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago look like a playful chuck on the chin.

The enormous collision occurred 3.26 billion years ago and involved an asteroid 23 to 36 miles (37 to 58 kilometers) across — four to six times wider than the dino-killing space rock. The impact created a crater about 300 miles (500 km) wide and generated seismic waves far more powerful than those produced by any earthquake in recorded history, researchers said.

The asteroid impact was "far larger than anything in the last billion years," Jay Melosh of Purdue University, who was not involved in the new study, said in a statement. . . .



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