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The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs was not alone

Perhaps he was not alone, the asteroid that fell to Earth 66 million years ago, marked by the end of the dinosaurs. This is suggested by the discovery of a new crater at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Guinea: 8.5 kilometers wide and several hundred meters deep, it would have been caused by the impact of an object with a diameter of 400 meters, probably “close to the famous asteroid Chicxulub. It would have been This event causes an earthquake with a magnitude greater than 6.5 on the Richter scale, and a tsunami with waves up to 900 meters high and a thousand times higher energy than the recent eruption of Tonga. published In Science Advances from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh as well as the Universities of Texas and Arizona.

The crater (called “rare” from the name of a nearby submarine mountain of volcanic origin) dates back to the same time as the Chicxulub impact in Mexico. The researchers spotted it by chance while studying the sea floor using seismic reflection, a geophysical scanning method similar to ultrasound, which consists of sending pressure waves across the ocean and its bottom and then scanning the reflected energy.

Many of the crater features appear to be consistent with the origin of the impact, which is a really dramatic collision, according to computer simulations, albeit smaller than that of Chicxulub. Confirmation can only come with further analyses: that’s why the team has already requested permission to drill the sea floor and take samples from the crater, in order to assess its age and check for the possible presence of minerals that may have formed. Under conditions of extreme stress during impact. Thanks to this information only, it will be possible to understand whether the object that caused the collision was a separate piece of the asteroid Chicxulub or another example of an asteroid “rain” that could hit the Earth and other planets within the solar system in the course of a million years.

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