Gargantuan asteroid that struck Oz likely led to mass extinctions worldwide
London: A giant asteroid that struck Australia more than 300 million years ago changed the face of the Earth forever, a new study has claimed.
The six-mile diameter asteroid left an impact zone more than 120 miles wide - the third largest such site on the planet - and likely led to mass extinctions worldwide, the Daily Mail reported.
"The dust and greenhouse gases released from the crater, the seismic shock and the initial fireball would have incinerated large parts of the Earth," Andrew Glikson, visiting fellow at the Australian National University said.
Evidence of the ancient catastrophe was only discovered after another researcher alerted Dr Glikson to unusual mineral deposits in the East Warburton Basin in South Australia.
As the ages have passed, the mammoth impact zone has been buried beneath nearly 2.5 miles of earth.
To identify it Dr Glikson and his colleagues analysed quartz grains drawn from the site and studied underground seismic and magnetic anomalies.
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, Dr Glikson said.
However, he added, the impact happened well before the time of the dinosaurs.
"It`s significant because it`s so large. It`s the third largest impact terrain anywhere on Earth found to date," he told Australian science news site The Conversation.
He said that it`s likely to be part of a particular cluster that was linked with a mass extinction event at that time.
He said that there was a chance that the incoming asteroid actually split in two as it made its fiery descent through the Earth`s atmosphere.
Dr Simon O`Toole, research astronomer at the Australian Astronomical Observatory, told The Conversation that the find offered fresh evidence of the links between asteroid impacts and mass extinctions.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Complete analysis of APJ Abdul Kalam's life and achievements
- 6 leaders were in contact with Dawood Ibrahim till 26/11: Report
- Rameswaram waits to give final salute to Dr Abdul Kalam
- Last rites of Gurdaspur attack martyr Baljit Singh in Kapurthala
- SC order on Yakub Memon huge disappointment, setback: Owaisi
- When UN declared Dr APJ Abdul Kalam's 79th birthday as World Students' Day
- APJ Abdul Kalam's funeral: Why Rameswaram was chosen over New Delhi?
- SC refuses stay on Yakub Memon's hanging: As it happened
- New SC bench to hear 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts convict Yakub Memon's plea on Wednesday
- APJ Abdul Kalam's funeral to be held in Rameswaram; PM Modi to attend