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Double Whammy

22 August 2022

William sent in the link https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/article/a-second-asteroid-may-have-struck-during-the-dinosaurs-demise … a second asteroid, or a fragment from a single asteroid, may have struck the earth at the time of the dinosaur extinction according to a research paper in Science Advances. Buried under layers of sand off the coast of West Africa scientists accidentally came across what seems to be a crater – some 5.3 miles wide. It was found during seismic surveys of the sea floor, in a known location of an undersea volcano. The space rock is estimated at a quarter of a mile wide. Not to be sniffed at as far as space rocks go but the Chicxulub crater, associated with the dinosaur demise, was deposited by an asteroid 6 miles wide.

One aspect of the story doesn’t make a lot of sense and is probably the fault of the news compiler rather than the research team. The claim is they are 3400 miles – which of course is the present distance. In Plate Tectonics theory Africa was much closer to South America 65,000 years ago. How wide was the Atlantic at that time? However, later on in the National Geographic piece, we are told Africa and South America split apart around 100,000 years ago.

Over at https://phys.org/news/2022-07-astronomer-near-earth-asteroids-sun.html … a research paper in the journal Science suggests it is time to look for space rocks crossing the path of the earth in the direction of the Sun. The technology now exists to combat the glare of the sun, and the depth of its brightness. Most telescopes are directed towards the dark night side of the sky. This is because the light of the sun is capable of overwhelming. Hence, the impression given is that astronomers have been ignoring space rocks that orbit between the sun and the earth, but not always of course. The idea is to get a more realistic view of the problem asteroids ac

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