The Day the Dinosaurs Died

Jules

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Fascinating article! It's long, but well worth reading.

A young paleontologist may have discovered a record of the most significant event in the history of life on Earth.
By Douglas Preston

If, on a certain evening about sixty-six million years ago, you had stood somewhere in North America and looked up at the sky, you would have soon made out what appeared to be a star. If you watched for an hour or two, the star would have seemed to grow in brightness, although it barely moved. That’s because it was not a star but an asteroid, and it was headed directly for Earth at about forty-five thousand miles an hour. Sixty hours later, the asteroid hit. The air in front was compressed and violently heated, and it blasted a hole through the atmosphere, generating a supersonic shock wave. The asteroid struck a shallow sea where the Yucatán peninsula is today. In that moment, the Cretaceous period ended and the Paleogene period began.

--------------------snip-------------------

Within two minutes of slamming into Earth, the asteroid, which was at least six miles wide, had gouged a crater about eighteen miles deep and lofted twenty-five trillion metric tons of debris into the atmosphere. Picture the splash of a pebble falling into pond water, but on a planetary scale. When Earth’s crust rebounded, a peak higher than Mt. Everest briefly rose up. The energy released was more than that of a billion Hiroshima bombs, but the blast looked nothing like a nuclear explosion, with its signature mushroom cloud. Instead, the initial blowout formed a “rooster tail,” a gigantic jet of molten material, which exited the atmosphere, some of it fanning out over North America. Much of the material was several times hotter than the surface of the sun, and it set fire to everything within a thousand miles. In addition, an inverted cone of liquefied, superheated rock rose, spread outward as countless red-hot blobs of glass, called tektites, and blanketed the Western Hemisphere.
 

Jules

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He did a talk at NASA recently. In the video you see enraptured scientists bobbing their heads as DePalma explains his findings.

The hour the dinosaurs died. With glass-encased, perfectly preserved elements. Even dinosaur skin impressions well preserved.

Wow.
 

ExOmo

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The Great Void
Trex.png
 

Goodvibes

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Watched a bit of it. I had read about the findings previously.

Although this is fascinating, these bright minds should be applied to saving the planet now. Instead, a guy is analysing something that happened 60 million years ago and telling it to people trying to land people on Mars.

There is something very wrong here.
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
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No all the dinosaurs died, they are all around us as birds, very luckily for us. But yes, a good read, and if you go to the actual paper in PNAS the images are explained properly, unlike the New Yorker article.
Yep - what did t-rex taste like?
Chicken...
 

Jules

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Watched a bit of it. I had read about the findings previously.

Although this is fascinating, these bright minds should be applied to saving the planet now. Instead, a guy is analysing something that happened 60 million years ago and telling it to people trying to land people on Mars.

There is something very wrong here.
Until the theory that an asteroid caused a global disaster, there was a general belief that earth's atmosphere protected us from such a thing. After the scientific community started accepting the findings of Alverez, et al, there was a call to protect the planet from another such strike. So some bright minds did set about trying to save the planet.

Whether we can is questionable but if we can't stop another such disaster, things like global warming, pollution, stripping the planet's resources, etc will all seem trivial.
 

Jules

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Watched this story on NOVA last night, good stuff!!! I think it's on demand with Xfininty.
I think the NOVA documentary was done in 2017 and did not feature DePalma or the site he discovered, Tanis. The name of the BBC doc is The Final Day and it appears to never have been released in the US. At least, not that I have found, but I'm still looking...
 

Steam Flyer

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Until the theory that an asteroid caused a global disaster, there was a general belief that earth's atmosphere protected us from such a thing. After the scientific community started accepting the findings of Alverez, et al, there was a call to protect the planet from another such strike. So some bright minds did set about trying to save the planet.

Whether we can is questionable but if we can't stop another such disaster, things like global warming, pollution, stripping the planet's resources, etc will all seem trivial.

It's happened a couple of times, actually. Same for mega-volcanic eruptions. Krakatoa and Threa are just the two since humans recorded history which is not even a tiny blip of Earth's time line.
 

billy backstay

Backstay, never bought a suit, never went to Vegas
I think the NOVA documentary was done in 2017 and did not feature DePalma or the site he discovered, Tanis. The name of the BBC doc is The Final Day and it appears to never have been released in the US. At least, not that I have found, but I'm still looking...

I will have to find the more recent "Final" Day doc then, thanks!! I did recognize one of the guys shown above and the dinosaur skin in the NOVA episode so assumed it was the same one.

Also watched a great NOVA about the Peruvian Nazca civizilation prior to the Aztecs who made the crop circles and giant petroglyphs. Fascinating stuff, but it baffles me how they can come to their conlusions based on the slim to none evidence!

 




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