Dinosaurs roamed the planet till 65 million years ago until they were wiped away by a catastrophic impact by an asteroid. The impact by the 10-kilometer asteroid was cataclysmic and punched a 30 kilometer and 160-kilometer wide scar on the Earth’s crust. The asteroid almost perforated the crust and caused the surface of the planet to resemble like a slow-moving liquid, a new study has found. The latest research will help understand how such collisions can change the face of the planets and generate new habitats for life.
Numerous craters have rings of rocky hills in the center, and it’s known as peak rings. Such peak rings are present in extraterrestrial bodies like Venus and Moon, and this makes its study that much more challenging since it is not possible to know their exact formation history.
To know more about these structures researchers from the University of Texas at Austin in the US studied the gigantic Chicxulub crater in Mexico. The crater is believed to have been created by the impact of an asteroid 10 kilometers. The crater measures 180 kilometers wide and has the peak ring intact. It is believed that the impact by the asteroid caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. The peak ring samples were collected from under 18 meters of water in the Gulf of Mexico.
Researchers were surprised to find Granite which was once buried deep underground for 500 million years but was thrown up by the impact of the asteroid. The impact caused the Earth to behave like a slow moving liquid. The solid asteroid must have opened up a hole as thick as the Earth’s crust which is 30 kilometers deep and almost 100 kilometers wide.