Scientists are about to embark on a journey of discovery by looking deep into the crater of the asteroid which wiped out the dinosaurs.
Around 65.5 million years ago, an asteroid nine miles wide slammed into the Earth triggering a set of events which would ultimately lead to the extinction of almost every large animal and plant on the planet.
Yet despite being one of the most significant events in our planet’s history we actually know surprisingly little about it.
Massive Asteroid Could Hit Earth In 2032, Say Ukrainian Scientists
Killer Asteroid Defence Satellite Loses NASA Funding
Apocalyptic 100km-Wide Comets Could Be Hiding In Outer Solar System All Along
Could An Asteroid Knock The Moon Into The Earth?
Well now scientists have an ambitious plan to head to the crater, drill some 5,000ft below the seabed and take full samples of the rock allowing us to have a ‘snapshot’ of what happened to the Earth after the impact.
Sean Gulick, a researcher at The University of Texas at Austin Institute for Geophysics (UTIG), and a team of scientists from the U.K. and Mexico are planning to fill in the blanks and hopefully explain how our planet recovered from such a cataclysmic event.
“The sediments that filled in the [crater] should have the record for organisms living on the sea floor and in the water that were there for the first recovery after the mass extinction event,” Gulick said. “The hope is we can watch life come back.”
Ambitious in both its technicality and scope of research the expedition will take two months to complete and will involve using an offshore platform to drill deep down into the crater’s edge.
From there scientists hope to see both examples of the life that formed soon after the impact and also life that flourished much later once the Earth had restored its environmental balance.