March 24, 2023
A marine crater associated with the "sister" asteroid that killed the dinosaurs

A marine crater associated with the “sister” asteroid that killed the dinosaurs

Scientists have discovered a hole in the sea floor off the coast of Guinea, located in West Africa. Called Nader – like a nearby marine volcano – the crater appears to have been created by an impact an asteroid🇧🇷 Also, the date of its formation coincides with the impact that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago.

A curious fact about the ocean floor is that it used to be less explored from the surface of Mars. Among the studies aimed at investigating these depths, the project that seeks to reconstruct the tectonic separation of Africa and South America was responsible for this new discovery.

Thanks to data obtained through a technique called seismic reflection, “geological ultrasound,” scientists have found a 10-kilometer-diameter crater buried by 400 meters of sediment. If confirmed, it would join a few known asteroid impact craters on the sea floor.

Sister asteroids?

If the rarity of these craters wasn’t enough to pique researchers’ interest, that’s another fact. The estimated date of the collision that created Nadir crater is roughly the same as the date of the impact at Chicxulub, Mexico. In fact, it is suspected that the asteroids that spawned the two have the same origin.

The maximum difference is estimated at a million years between the impacts. Blink of an eye on the geological scale. The relationship has not been confirmed, but scientists are considering the possibilities that this is not just a coincidence.

The first hypothesis is the “little brother” theory: both asteroids will be the result of the rupture of the same “parent” asteroid. It is possible that the force of Earth’s gravity broke it in a crash. near collisionso that the fragments in the next orbit hit the planet.

Another possibility is called the “small primary”: this hypothesis assumes a collision far from Earth, such as the collision of one large asteroid with another. In the belt between Mars and Jupiter🇧🇷 This event could have sent many “proto” asteroids hurtling towards rocky planets over a long period.

To test these hypotheses, and even to confirm that the crater was indeed caused by an impact, the researchers need samples from the site. The group has submitted a request to drill the hole to the International Ocean Discovery Program to collect the necessary minerals and to continue this investigation.

source: Science advances Across: