Monday, August 30, 2010

Two Huge Meteors, Not One, Killed All The Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs were not killed by a single meteor. Scientists are suggesting that two different meteors may have wiped out dinosaurs approximately 65 million years ago. Amusingly, they struck Earth thousands of years apart.
The discovery of the second impact crater, located in Ukrain, was actually reported in 2002 but scientists were not sure of how the timing related to the original impact crater, located in the Gulf. In their current study, scientists are examining fossil plants that have filled the crater and specifically ferns, ferns have an amazing ability to bounce back after catastrophe. Layers full of fern spores  are considered to be a good "markers" of past impact events.
However, there was an unexpected discovery in store for the scientists, they located a second "fern spike" in a layer one meter above the first, suggesting another later impact event. Professor Simon Kelley of the Open University said that they interpreted this second layer as the aftermath of the Chicxulub impact.
This shows that the Boltysh and Chicxulub impacts did not happen at exactly the same time, they struck several thousand years apart, the length of time between the two "fern spikes".
So scientists are beginning to think that Earth possibly endured a meteor shower that spanned thousands of years and it's fully possible that they'll discover more evidence of impact events in the future

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