Once an asteroid hit the Earth much larger than the one that killed the dinosaurs

(ORDO NEWS) — A 15-kilometer asteroid that fell 66 million years ago in the Gulf of Mexico and formed a crater with a diameter of 180 kilometers caused a lot of trouble.

Among other things, he raised millions of tons of rock and spoiled the climate so that the dinosaurs could not withstand the onset of global bad weather. A lot of people blame this one.

Similar cataclysms happened more than once – traces remained. For example, scientists had no doubt that the 15-kilometer asteroid was the one that formed the largest crater on Earth with a diameter of 300 kilometers – the Vredefort crater in South Africa.

Once an asteroid hit the Earth much larger than the one that killed the dinosaurs 2
The Vredefort crater in South Africa is the largest crater on Earth. Left by the largest asteroid in history

Researchers from the University of Rochester in New York State took a closer look at the crash site. And now they assure that the previous estimates turned out to be underestimated – the asteroid was larger.

Much more – 25 kilometers in diameter. What the authors reported in a scientific article published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

The conclusions of geophysicists were preceded by careful measurements of the crater – what was left of it – and computer modeling.

Using a specially developed program that takes into account the size of the crater, its configuration and characteristics of the rock, it is possible to determine the speed and parameters of the celestial body, as a result of the fall of which it was formed.

And so it happened that the asteroid was 25 kilometers in diameter – of course, it would have crawled into the ring of the Moscow Ring Road, but not into the Third transport.

The speed of the block at the time of the meeting with the Earth was about 20 kilometers per second.

The new dimensions of the space guest make it the largest ever to crash into our planet. But, fortunately, the fall did not have devastating consequences for earthly life, since life, as such, did not exist on the planet at that time.

There weren’t even any trees. The asteroid crashed 2 billion years ago. If anyone observed the cataclysm, then only unicellular microorganisms, which seemed to already exist. And the blow from space didn’t seem to hurt them much, since we eventually appeared.

Worse another. Giant asteroids do not often visit, but still come from time to time. The larger, the less often.

And the Vredefort crater was formed a very long time ago. Suddenly, the turn comes to form more of the same. Yes, even if it’s smaller. Humanity cannot survive.

However, according to scientists who are monitoring the already identified asteroids that pose a potential threat and looking for new ones, giants are not yet visible in the foreseeable space.

But there are dangerous rocks. For example, Apophis, he is the god of Chaos, who in 2029 will fly only 31,300 kilometers from the Earth’s surface.

Once an asteroid hit the Earth much larger than the one that killed the dinosaurs 3
Collision of a small planet with the former Earth, as a result of which the present Earth and its moon were formed

By the way

Worse than ever

A collision with a huge asteroid – one that arrived 2 billion years ago or even larger – is not the worst case scenario.

A little earlier, about 4 billion years ago, the seemingly incredible happened: another planet about the size of Mars crashed into the Earth.

As a result, the Moon was formed.

As it was, British scientists from the Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham University, have recently shown, having made the appropriate animation using computer simulation.


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