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Researchers are turning back time, layer by layer, drilling down to the time of the Cretaceous — the final dinosaur era — examining rocks and tiny fossils for new details that could solve decades-old controversies.
“It’s the most important natural event on Earth in the last 100 million years,” Morgan says.
Morgan watched as two geologists — Alan Hildebrand of the University of Calgary and Buck Sharpton of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston — sparred over the details.(If you want to contact Expatica for any other reason, please follow the instructions on this website's contact page.) The details you provide on this page will not be used to send any unsolicited e-mail, and will not be sold to a third party. A city-sized chunk of primordial space rock circled the solar system somewhere between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Then, some unknown celestial mechanics shoved this 9-mile-wide projectile out of its orbit. The asteroid belt escapee arrived 66 million years ago. rex might have tilted its head in curiosity as a strange, new star grew dozens of times brighter than the sun.Scientists and oil prospectors have drilled the crater in the past, but the International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 364 was the first to explore Chicxulub’s central peak ring.The team hopes to find new clues about how these large craters form and what made the impact so deadly.“There were accusations of voodoo physics from one and the other saying your parents were not married,” Morgan jokes.
A crane operator pulls her high above the rough ocean waves, giving her the asteroid’s final view of the Gulf of Mexico.