An asteroid impact wiped out dinosaurs millions of years ago, but the study of how this happened still continues to bring up new facts every day.
The impact of this asteroid set up wildfires, cause tsunamis and blasted Sulphur in the atmosphere, which stopped sunlight from coming in, and ultimately wiped out dinosaurs.
A new study has identified the rocks that filled up the crater that the asteroid created upon impact within the first 24 hours. The researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have found hard evidence of bits of charcoal, and jumbles of rocks that were deposited when the tsunami abated and flowed back to the ocean. These rocks confirm their timeline by the fact that they were not covered by sulphur that was deposited on everything post-impact.
This is the most detailed look yet on the most major documented catastrophe on the planet.
Sean Gulick, research professor, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG), who was associated with the project, stated, "It's an expanded record of events that we were able to recover from within ground zero. It tells us about impact processes from an eyewitness location."
The research paper, which was published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, also showed how quickly life on earth started recovering once the dinosaurs went extinct. It also holds clues to how 75 percent of all life on earth at the time, was wiped out in a short span of time.
Most of the rocks that filled the crater got there within hours of impact. According the researchers around 425 feet of material was deposited within hours of impact.
Researchers claim that the immediate impact of the asteroid created a heat wave which was followed by global cooling as scientifically put by Gulick, "We fried them and then we froze them."
The asteroid that hit the earth on the fateful day, is expected to have had power equivalent to 10 billion atom bombs of the size that were used over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It turned millions of trees into charcoal which was then deposited into the soil.
Here's how Jay Melosh, professor, impact cratering, Purdue University puts it, "It was a momentous day in the history of life, and this is a very clear documentation of what happened at ground zero."
Most importantly, the study leads credence to the theory, that upon impact, the asteroid vaporised sulphur-bearing minerals creating the black cloud of sulphur which blocked the sun. It is expected to have four times the impact of 1883 Krakatoa eruption, which cooled the earth's atmosphere by 2.2 degrees.
It also holds clues to our future and how climate change could affect it.