(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have established the trajectory of the asteroid that formed the Chicxulub crater in Mexico and killed dinosaurs 66 million years ago. According to experts, the impact of the asteroid occurred at an angle of 45 to 60 degrees to the surface of the Earth.
Researchers noted that such a trajectory contributed to the maximum emission of rocks and deadly gases, reports Nature Communications.
Scientists from 11 countries have combined data on the shape and subsurface structure of the crater, the results of geophysical research and drilling, and based on them built a three-dimensional dynamic model of impact.
They examined the consequences with four options for the angle of approach of the asteroid to the Earth’s surface – 90, 60, 45 and 30 degrees.
The authors concluded, based on the calculation results, that the Chicxulub crater was formed as a result of a steep sloping impact from the northeast.
The impact caused billions of tons of sulfur to be released into the upper atmosphere and blocked sunlight, causing a nuclear winter to set in, resulting in the death of dinosaurs, like other animals.
Researchers believe that sulfur was a particular danger, which quickly formed aerosol particles blocking the sun’s rays, which led to a halt in the process of photosynthesis and cooling of the planet’s climate.
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