The asteroid that 'changed Earth'

2013-02-15 14:17
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - A strike from a big asteroid more than 300 million years ago left a huge impact zone buried in Australia and changed the face of the Earth, researchers said on Friday.

"The dust and greenhouse gases released from the crater, the seismic shock and the initial fireball would have incinerated large parts of the Earth," said Andrew Glikson, a visiting fellow at the Australian National University.

The asteroid was bigger than 10km in diameter, while the impact zone itself was larger than 200km - the third largest impact zone in the world.

"The greenhouse gases would stay in the atmosphere for tens of thousands of years," Glikson told Reuters.

The discovery was made after another researcher alerted Glikson to some unusual mineral deposits in the East Warburton Basin in South Australia.

Glikson and colleagues analysed quartz grains drawn from deep beneath the earth's surface in research starting in 2010 and the crater itself was recently identified, he added.

The strike may have been part of an asteroid impact cluster which caused an era of mass extinction, wiping out primitive coral reefs and other species, added Glikson, co-author of a study published in the journal Tectonophysics.

The impact happened before the dinosaurs, he said.

The announcement of the discovery came just before a newly discovered asteroid about half the size of a football field was set to pass some 27 520 km from Earth.

Read more on:    australia  |  astronomy
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
14 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is the most expensive burger in the world!

You won't believe how much someone was prepared to pay for this burger!

 
 

Luxury living

Exclusive food items that WILL break the bank
Top 10 most expensive homes in the world
You can permanently live on a ship and sail the world!
These are the richest people on the planet!
Traffic Alerts
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to discriminate, criticise and over analyse things today which can leave everybody feeling a little bit unsure...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.