Asteroid as powerful as 10 billion WWII atomic bombs may have wiped out the dinosaurs
CNN - Tue 10 Sep 22:24 GMT

Scientists have found evidence that the impact of an asteroid as powerful as 10 billion WWII-era atomic bombs brought about the extinction of the dinosaurs.

  The 7.5-mile (12-km) wide asteroid struck the Earth 66 million years ago and caused 75% of life on the planet to become extinct, according to research led by the University of Texas and published in the PNAS journal .

  The new research was based on rocks collected in 2016 from the Chicxulub impact site off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

  Professor Sean Gulick, who led the study, told CNN: "For me personally, successfully collecting the cores from the peak ring of the Chicxulub crater was the fruit of years of proposal writing and planning made reality.

  New species of dinosaur discovered after decades in museum Gulick added that the project presented an unusual opportunity for geologists to read the "rock record," as 130 meters of rock in the crater represented the events of the single day when the asteroid struck.

  Typically, one centimeter of rock represents every 1,000 years.

  Gulick and his team concluded -- from the abundance of sulfur-rich rocks near the crater and their absence within it -- that the asteroid must have vaporized any sulfur previously present.

  They estimate that 325 billion metric tons or more of sulfur were ejected into the atmosphere after the giant rock's impact.