Researchers found out that the asteroid that provoked the dinosaurs’ extinction “unleashed an incredible amount of climate-changing gasses into the atmosphere,” which ultimately made the climate uninhabitable.
The asteroid that ended dinosaurs hit Earth at the “deadliest possible angle,” a new study says.
The conclusion was elaborated by Professor Gareth Collins, who works at Imperial College London in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering, and his partners.
An article about the case was published on May 26 in Nature Communications, a scientific journal.
The researchers used 3D numerical simulations and geophysical figures from the site of the asteroid’s impact. They figured out that the crater, named Chickulub, struck our planet at approximately 60 degrees, which maximized the generation of climate-changing gases that would ultimately enter the atmosphere.
Billions of tons of sulfur went airborne and blocked sunlight, somewhat as it would happen during a “nuclear winter,” which killed the dinosaurs and 75% of life on Earth.
The dinosaurs experienced the worst-case scenario, a statement from the college’s website reads.
“The asteroid strike unleashed an incredible amount of climate-changing gases into the atmosphere, triggering a chain of events that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. That was likely worsened by the fact that it struck at one of the deadliest possible angles,” Collins said.
The sixty-degree angle was considered unfortunate because it resulted in an increased amount of hazardous debris in the upper atmosphere and then scattered it across the globe.
Estimates say that the asteroid hit Earth at a speed of about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) per second.
Probes for the research had to be extracted from beneath a kilometer of sedimentary rocks. Still, there were plenty of clues to figure out precisely the speed and angle of impact.