Scientists may have found pieces of the asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs | Magnetic Files
Scientists are reconstructing the remains of the day the dinosaur extinction began. According to the New York Times, scientists studying a site in North Dakota believe they have discovered pieces of an asteroid that slammed into Earth about 66 million years ago off the Yucatán Peninsula. The object is believed to have caused widespread destruction and led to the eventual extinction of the dinosaurs, which paved the way for mammals to rule the planet. When the asteroid hit, it created a 20-mile-deep crater that sent molten debris into the air which then cooled into “glass spheres”, the newspaper explained. Experts say these objects are sure signs that an asteroid impact has occurred. Over millions of years, some of the spherules have been altered due to interactions with the environment. However, at the North Dakota site – called Tanis – some of the spherules were preserved in amber, the Times reported. Robert DePalma, an adjunct professor and graduate student at the University of Manchester, said Tanis researchers found spherules containing chunks of unmelted rock. As they tested the fragments, they found that not only did they contain portions of limestone crust from the impact crater thousands of miles away, but some pieces contained large amounts of iron, nickel and chromium. These elements are consistent with material from the asteroid and could be from the one that collided with Earth on that fateful day. Additionally, DePalma said a preserved leg of a dinosaur that may have died the day the asteroid hit was discovered at the Tanis site.