16:43 GMT +320 November 2017
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    The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.

    Asteroid That Killed Dinosaurs May Have Made Solid Earth Splash Like Water

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    While scientists understand that a 6-mile wide asteroid plummeted to the Earth over 65 million years ago, creating a 110-mile wide crater and killing all the dinosaurs, researchers want to get to the bottom of what the site looked like directly after impact.

    Next year scientists will be drilling 5,000 feet below the surface of the Chicxulub crater, just off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, known to be the landing site of the asteroid. This new venture, looking millions of years into the past, will be the first offshore core sample taken near the center of the crater, according to LiveScience.

    Scientists believe that, as the asteroid hit Earth’s surface, everything was blasted outward from the crater with such impact that the rocks behaved more like liquid, causing waves and ripples across the land. 

    An international group of researchers met in Mérida, Mexico to discuss the project planned for Spring of 2016. 

    "The Chicxulub impact crater has been a remarkable scientific opportunity for the 20 years since it's been discovered," Dr. Sean Gulick, of The University of Texas at Austin Institute for Geophysics, told LiveScience. 

    Gulick pointed out that researchers now have subsurface images from the offshore part of the crater, so they can pinpoint a spot for sampling.  And by sampling there, scientists can get a much clearer of how exactly the asteroid impacted the Earth’s surface. 

    Topological features of the Chicxulub crater can be seen in this gravity map (red and yellow indicate high gravity, while green and blue are gravity lows).
    Topological features of the Chicxulub crater can be seen in this gravity map (red and yellow indicate high gravity, while green and blue are gravity lows).

    The researchers plan on drilling into the inner circle in the center of the crater to get a better understanding of the material that was blasted upwards and then outwards during impact. 

    "We think the peak ring is the record of the material that rebounded and splashed outward," Sean Gulick, one of the lead scientists on the project, told Live Science.

    But "we've never gotten a rock back from a peak ring to know if that's correct," he added.

    Related:

    Gigantic Asteroid Skims Earth in Closest Approach Ever
    Australian Geologists Uncover Largest Asteroid Crater on Earth
    Close Call: Huge Asteroid Flies by Earth
    Tags:
    United States, drilling, crater, Asteroid, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, space
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