Paleontologists have discovered fragments of the asteroid that caused the disappearance of the dinosaurs.
Finding insects and other small prehistoric creatures trapped in amber is one thing, but scientists now think they’ve done better by uncovering tiny shards of the asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs some 66 million ago of years.
The object, which slammed into the planet in what is now Mexico, has long been a subject of study and debate, with scientists trying to figure out what kind of object it was and what it was. was done.
If you’re able to identify it, and we’re about to, then you can say, “amazing, we know what it was,” said paleontologist Robert DePalma.
The shards, found at an excavation site in North Dakota, are thought to have been preserved in tree sap at the time of impact and then fossilized over millions of years.
If conclusively confirmed that they did indeed come from the space rock that wiped out the dinosaurs, they will provide some of the strongest evidence yet for the nature of this devastating impactor.
“Seeing a piece of the culprit gives goosebumps,” Mr. DePalma said.
A video featuring interviews between Mr DePalma and leading NASA scientists, as well as a BBC documentary on the discovery, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, will be released in the coming weeks.
A version will also air on the PBS series “Nova” later this month.