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)
- 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…