A new study describes the hellish and toxic world Earth became immediately after it collided with the giant asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. The prevailing theory about the mysterious disappearance of the dinosaurs is that an asteroid about ten kilometers in diameter that fell 66 million years ago in the Yucatan Peninsula region of the Gulf of Mexico is responsible.
The effects of this terrible collision were planetary, throwing colossal amounts of dust and ash into the atmosphere, causing fires of tremendous intensity and extent, and ultimately creating the so-called nuclear winter, which wiped out not only the dinosaurs but about 80% of life on Earth. Of course, this destruction allowed mammals to flourish and paved the way for the appearance of man. In recent years, studies have been constantly being done to piece together the puzzle of what exactly happened immediately after the collision. Each new study offers new pieces to this puzzle, and the latest one sheds some light on yet another question mark about the impact of the conflict on the planet.
With its publication in the magazine “Scientific Reports”, an international team of researchers presents the results of the study it carried out on what happened immediately after the terrible impact of the huge asteroid on Earth. The study confirms the scenario of the occurrence of terrible fires, and according to the researchers’ calculations from the findings they identified and analyzed, fires occurred in an area of 2.5 thousand km from the point of impact.
The study also clarifies the time and cause of the fires. There are two theories about the occurrence of the fires. One states that they manifested immediately after the impact which caused them. The other theory states that the fires were sparked in a second time by countless lightning bolts created by the atmospheric processes that developed after the impact.
The new study reports fires occurring no later than ten minutes after the impact, which means that the asteroid’s fall directly activated the fire mechanism and they were not the result of secondary factors. The findings also show that the plants and trees in these fires burned in temperatures of a thousand degrees Celsius. A real hell that is. According to the researchers, the cause of the fires was either the huge rock itself that, falling on fire on the surface of the Earth, simultaneously set fire to the forests, or the rain of hot molten rocks that were thrown into the atmosphere after the impact.
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