November 10th, 2022

Big Bang to Humankind

  • Object: meteoroid. Fire trail: meteor. On Earth’s surface: meteorite.

  • Asteroids are large and orbit the sun, meteoroids are much smaller and orbit the sun.

  • Some meteorites arrive on Earth with water, organic materials, and amino acids.

  • There are 200 impact craters on Earth.

  • 70% of all creatures (including the dinosaurs) suddenly went extinct 66 million years ago.

  • Every 100 million years we come close to another star, and are in the “oort cloud” of that star’s orbiting meteoroids.

    • This also coincides with the times when we have large impacts.
  • Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs (66 million years ago)

    • Rocks look different above and below KT boundary between ages.
    • If you test the chalky middle layer in rocks, it’s rich in Iridium (rare material on Earth).
    • Shocked quartz - similar to what is found around bomb sites - was found more in samples near Haiti/USA, which indicates that the event was in the Southeastern USA.
    • Crater found (Chixalub Crater)
      • 200 km wide crater
    • World was dark and cold for 3 years after impact
    • Huge biological diversity after these events, since evolution moves quickly to fill in the now-empty niches
  • Will an asteroid like this happen again?

    • Certainly yes.
    • Events like KT (that killed the dinosaurs) happen every 100 million years, and that one happened 66 million years ago…