Bits and Pieces of Armageddon

By Doomsday pebbles|Monday, March 01, 1999
RELATED TAGS: METEORS & ASTEROIDS, COMETS


Kyte was examining sediment cores drilled from the Pacific just north of Hawaii. Unlike most other marine sediments, those from around the time of the impact are bereft of microfossils--their absence marks a planetwide disaster. In one of the core samples, which were mostly fine-grained sediments, Kyle spotted something unusual. "I saw this little rock in the core," he says, "and I plucked it out."



The rock turned out to contain a 2.5-millimeter-long fragment of an asteroid. The texture of Kyte's rock, and the high concentration of iridium, chromium, and iron, suggested that it came from an asteroid and not a loose, sooty ice ball like a comet. "We probably have," he says, "a piece of the object responsible for one of the worst days in the history of Earth."
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