New theory explains possible origin of plummeting Chicxulub impactor that struck off Mexico
It was tens of miles wide and forever changed history when it crashed into Earth about 66 million years ago.
The Chicxulub impactor, as it’s known, was a plummeting asteroid or comet that left behind a crater off the coast of Mexico that spans 93 miles and goes 12 miles deep. Its devastating impact brought the reign of the dinosaurs to an abrupt and calamitous end, scientists say, by triggering their sudden mass extinction, along with the end of almost three-quarters of the plant and animal species then living on Earth.
The enduring puzzle has always been where the asteroid or comet originated, and how it came to strike the Earth. And now a pair of Harvard researchers believe they have the answer.
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Harvard Staff Writer
February 15, 2021
Micrometeorites land on every corner of Earth. Matthew Genge is using these shards of interplanetary space to understand Earth and its place in the solar system.
Every year, roughly 10 particles of space dust land on each square meter of Earth’s surface. “That means that they are everywhere. They are on the streets. They are in your home. You may even have some cosmic dust on your clothes,” said Matthew Genge, a planetary scientist at Imperial College London who specializes in these alien dust grains, known as micrometeorites.
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Submitted by Carolyn Emerick