Asteroid that led to dinosaur extinction impacted Earth at 'deadliest possible angle': study

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Scientists have determined the angle of impact for the asteroid that contributed to the dinosaurs' extinction 66 million years ago, according to a study in Nature Communications.

Writing on behalf of the researchers, Imperial College London says in a news release that the asteroid had struck "at the deadliest possible" angle for life on Earth.

Using geological data from the Chicxulub crater in Mexico in a computer model, scientists calculated the space rock's angle of attack at 60 degrees.

The asteroid with its steep impact angle reached sulfur, carbonates and water deep in the Earth.

The vapors and debris were flung into the atmosphere and triggered a nuclear winter that wiped out the dinosaurs.

The researchers found asymmetries between the centers of the mountains inside the crater, the crater's physical center point, and the center of uplifted mantle 30 km beneath the surface.

Scientists then worked backward to model the asteroid's impact.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Asteroid that resulted in dinosaur extinction impacted Earth at a steep angle
2. Scientists calculate the impact angle at 60 degrees
3. The steep impact threw debris and vapor that caused a nuclear winter
4. Modeling utilized asymmetries in the impact crater's geology

VOICEOVER (in English):
"Scientists have determined the angle of impact for the asteroid that contributed to the dinosaurs' extinction 66 million years ago, according to a study in Nature Communications."

"Writing on behalf of the researchers, Imperial College London says in a news release that the asteroid had struck 'at the deadliest possible' angle for life on Earth."

"Using geological data from the Chicxulub crater in Mexico in a computer model, scientists calculated the space rock's angle of attack at 60 degrees."

"The asteroid with its steep impact angle reached sulfur, carbonates and water deep in the Earth."

"The vapors and debris were flung into the atmosphere and triggered a nuclear winter that wiped out the dinosaurs."

"The researchers found asymmetries between the centers of the mountains inside the crater, the crater's physical center point, and the center of uplifted mantle 30 km beneath the surface."


SOURCES: Nature Communications, Imperial College London, New Atlas
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-15269-x
http://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/197694/dinosaur-dooming-asteroid-struck-earth-deadliest-possible/
https://newatlas.com/science/dinosaur-killing-asteroid-deadliest-possible-angle/