Almost 66 million years ago an asteroid slammed Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. It was a turning point for our planet Earth. This triggered events that ultimately led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
However, until now the scientists have not been able to analyse the impact hole or the buried remains of the asteroid. It is mainly because the region is strongly controlled by the oil industry, reported Science Alert. The scientists hope that the recovered rock cores will give some clue to how life came back after the catastrophe. Or the crater itself might be the home for new microbial life.
Co-lead researcher Joanna Morgan from Imperial College London said, “It seems like a lifetime’s ambition coming true.”
The space rock was believed to have slammed through the Earth’s crust and bombarded megatons of dust and rock high into the atmosphere. When the space rock struck, it released an energy like that of 1 billion Hiroshima bombs. The explosion killed nearby animals and plants instantly. In the following years, almost 75 percent of the animals disappeared from the face of the earth. Those animals which survived the catastrophe evolved into today’s birds and mammals. However, the dinosaurs could not survive.
As of this writing, a drilling platform is ready to be anchored in the Gulf of Mexico. The drilling will start at the beginning of the next month. It will be digging into the enormous Chicxulub crater. The researchers have estimated that within two months they would dig up a kilometre of the fossilized timeline and would reach back to the impact itself, stated news.com.au. All the samples will be closely examined and integrated into a timeline of rock types, minerals and micro-fossils. Researchers are even expecting to extract DNA.
After the drill passes 800m scientists are expecting a change. There will be revelation beneath that. It will answer how life rebounds after the mass extinction and what microbes were among the first to return.
Recently scientists in NASA informed that a small asteroid will pass on March 5.