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Home / Science / "The Death Star" event spreads the Earth's life through the solar system (weekend feature)

"The Death Star" event spreads the Earth's life through the solar system (weekend feature)

  1999 KW4 ESO

About 65 million years ago, the largest asteroid strike in a billion years may have sown life in the solar system, even though it has devastated life on earth. Blasted debris escaped Earth's gravity, forming irregular orbits around the sun. They eventually found their way to the planets and moons of the solar system. Mars was eventually dusted with debris and, according to a 201

3 study in Astrobiology the 14-kilometer-wide object threw tens of thousands of pounds of impact debris on Saturn's moon, Titan and landed on Europe and Callisto orbiting Jupiter – all the satellites that scientists believe offer promising habitats. Mathematical models suggest that at least some of this debris still contained living microbes.

"If you had been somewhere in North America some sixty-six million years ago and looked up into the sky, you would have soon found out what a star seemed to be," writes Douglas Preston in The Day where the dinosaurs died. "If you had watched for an hour or two, the star would seem to have increased in brightness, though it barely moved. That's because it was not a star, it was an asteroid heading straight for Earth at a speed of 45,000 miles an hour. Sixty hours later, the asteroid struck.

"The Day the Earth Rained Glass" – Prelude to Extinction

The front air was compressed and heated vigorously as the object shot a hole through the atmosphere, creating a supersonic shock wave and evaporating on impact It mixed with vaporized earth and formed a fiery cloud that reached half the moon before collapsing in a column of incandescent dust. The asteroid struck in a shallow sea on today's Yucatán Peninsula and ended the Cretaceous at the beginning of the Paleogene, clearing the path for the genesis of the human species.

  Atomic Bomb Test

"The asteroid itself was so large that even at the moment of impact it might even tower more than a mile above the cruising altitude of a 747," he writes to Peter Brannen in The End of the World. "In his almost instantaneous descent, he squeezed the air under him so hard that it temporarily became hotter than the surface of the sun." With enough force he hit the earth to lift a mountain back to space at escape speed.

Several years ago, scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Preston, used one of the world's most powerful computers, the so-called Q machine, to model the effects of the impact and create a slow motion. Second, second after second, a false-color video of the event:

"Within two minutes of the impact on Earth, the asteroid, which was at least six miles wide, had pierced a crater at a depth of about eighteen miles and hit twenty – five trillion tons of debris in the atmosphere. Imagine splashing a pebble falling in the water of a pond, but on a planetary scale. When the earth's crust recovered, one summit was higher than the mountain. Everest stood up for a moment. The energy released was more than that of a billion Hiroshima bombs, but the explosion did not look like an atomic explosion with its characteristic mushroom cloud. Instead, the first eruption formed a "cock tail," a gigantic stream of molten material that left the atmosphere and spread partially across North America. Much of the material was many times hotter than the surface of the sun and ignited everything within a thousand miles. In addition, a reverse cone of liquefied, overheated rock rose, spreading outwards as a myriad of glowing lumps of glass called tektite, covering the western hemisphere.

The Three-Meter Problem [19659003] Scientists continue to discuss many details that arise from computer modeling and field studies of the debris layer, knowledge of extinction rates, fossils and microfossils, and many other clues, Preston consistently notes grimly. The dust and soot of the impact and the conflagration prevented for months that all the sunlight reached the surface of the planet. Photosynthesis almost ceased, killing most of the plant life, quenching the phytoplankton in the oceans, and lowering the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. After the fires went out, the earth sank into a time of cold, maybe even a deep frost. The two vital food chains of the earth in the sea and on land have collapsed. About seventy-five percent of all species died out. More than 99.9999 percent of all living organisms on Earth died and the carbon cycle came to a standstill. "

Earth itself became toxic by the impact, vaporizing limestone strata, releasing heavy greenhouse gases into the atmosphere: one trillion tons of carbon dioxide, ten billion tons of methane and one billion tons of carbon monoxide. The impact also vaporized anhydrite and raised ten trillion tons of sulfur compounds. combines with water to form sulfuric acid, which then fell as acid rain.

One of the lasting secrets of paleontology is the so-called "three-meter problem" – in one and a half centuries of conscientious search, almost no dinosaur remains were found in the three meter or about three meter layers nine feet below the KT boundary which marks the dividing line between the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods. (The Tertiary was redefined as the Paleogene) A depth that represents many thousands of years. As a result, Preston reports, numerous paleontologists have argued that the dinosaurs were on their way to extinction long before the asteroid struck, possibly due to volcanic eruptions and climate change. Other scientists have argued that the three-meter problem merely reflects how difficult it is to find fossils. Sooner or later, they claimed, a scientist will discover dinosaurs that are much closer to the moment of destruction.

https://dailygalaxy.com/2019/04/a-forgotten-world-apocalypse-of- the-great-dying-brought-the-dinosaurs out

The answers to our questions about one of the most significant events in the history of life on the planet are buried in the KT boundary. If you look at the earth as a kind of living organism, as many biologists do, Preston writes, you could say it was hit by a bullet and almost died. The decoding of the day of destruction is crucial not only to solving the three-meter problem, but also to explaining our own genesis as a species.

Enter One Robert DePalma: In March 2019, the galaxy released "The day the earth rained. "Prelude to extinction, which described the horror of the impact. The beginning of the end began with violent trembling, causing huge waves in the waters of an inland sea in today's North Dakota. Then tiny glass beads began to fall like birds' shots from the sky. The glass rain was so strong that possibly a large part of the vegetation on land was set on fire. In the water, fish had difficulty breathing as the globules clogged their gills, paleontologist Robert DePalma says about the killing field created shortly after the asteroid impact, which eventually led to the extinction of all dinosaur endemic species at the end of the Cretaceous. the so-called KT limit, which eradicated 75 percent of life.

"This is the first mass-death accumulation of large organisms that has ever been found in the context of the KT boundary," said DePalma, curator of paleontology at Palm Beach Museum of Natural History. "In no other KT boundary section of the earth is there such a collection consisting of a large number of species that represent different age groups of organisms and different life stages and all died at the same time on the same day." ] [19659008] DePalma's discovery occurred in the Hell Creek geological formation, which appears in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming – some of the most famous dinosaur beds in the world. At the time of the collision, the Hell Creek landscape consisted of steaming, subtropical lowlands and floodplains along the shores of an inland sea. The land was full of life and conditions for fossils, with seasonal flooding and meandering rivers that quickly buried dead animals and plants as the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant for the 1981 film "Raiders of the Lost Ark". In the real Tanis archaeologists found an inscription in three writing systems, which, like the Rosetta stone, was of crucial importance for the translation of ancient Egyptian.

Reviving Life

A cosmic impact strong enough to erase all life on the Earth's surface would throw large amounts of rock into orbit around the Sun. And most of these parts would fall back on our battered planet and possibly bring life, said Steinn Sigurðsson, a professor at Penn State University's Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics. "That's very reassuring." Sigurðsson said last month at the Breakthrough Discuss conference at the University of California at Berkeley:

"Space Refugees" – Dinosaur Discharge Exploitation Would Renew Life

"If you have a sterilizing effect – if you have an otherworldly dinosaur killer that sets the entire planet on fire – there is a significant likelihood that some biota will be ejected and return to the planet, hopefully gentle, fast enough to reapply the planet, "he added. The existence of such "space shelters" is supported by computer simulations by Sigurðsson and his colleagues, who traced the trajectories of rocks that were blasted from the Earth and the other rocky planets into orbit around the Sun.

Their existence before the asteroid struck caused mammals to scurry under the feet of dinosaurs. In the next epoch, mammals experienced an explosion of adaptive radiation and watched Preston evolve into an overwhelming variety of forms, from tiny bats to gigantic titanotheres, from horses to whales, from formidable creodonts to large-headed primates with hands, the gripping and the mind can do that by the time.

"We can trace our origins back to this event," said DePalma. "Being here, seeing it, being connected to that day is something special. This is the last day of the Cretaceous. If you go up one level – the next day – it's the Paleocene, the age of mammals, that's our age.

The Daily Galaxy over The New Yorker, University of California – Berkeley, Peter Brannen.com

In text form The day the dinosaurs died, thanks to BBC Bancroft

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