Astronomers have likely discovered the source of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs on Earth millions of years ago, and then the source of that space object remained a complex mystery.
William Botke, an astronomer involved in the study, says that the belt from which that asteroid was launched is between Mars and Jupiter.
This region is considered a stronghold for many asteroids that are described as dark, because their chemical composition makes them reflect light only in a very limited percentage, compared to the rest of the asteroids.
According to the British newspaper, The Independent, the asteroid was six miles wide, and hit Earth 66 million years ago.
The asteroid strike ended the existence of the dinosaurs, which dominated Earth for up to 180 million years.
Scientists estimate that the asteroid hit an area in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, which led to the formation of a patch similar to the crater of the volcano, according to the study published in the scientific journal “Icarus”.
The researchers studied the remains of an ancient rock, through samples from the region, and it appeared that it belongs to what is known as “carbonaceous chondrite meteorites”, which are one of the pristine and first materials in our entire solar system.
These asteroids make up about 3 percent of the asteroids that fall to Earth, but their name is somewhat misleading, when it is described as carbonaceous, because carbon makes up only 2 percent of its composition.
These asteroids are formed in bodies up to a mile wide, approaching the planet Earth, but today there is no asteroid of them, of the required size, to cause the effect that occurred in Mexico, according to Sky News Arabia.
The study suggested that a space object with a diameter of more than 6 miles hits the Earth once every 250 million years, which is ten times more, compared to what we previously thought.
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