Don Davis (work commissioned by NASA)

Would the dinosaurs still be around if the asteroid hit moments later?

Sixty-six million years ago, a 15-kilometer asteroid smashed into what is now the Yucatán Peninsula by the Gulf of Mexico. Had that collision carrying the energy of 10 billion Hiroshima atomic bombs arrived moments earlier or later, it may have hit the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean instead, and given the dinosaurs a significantly less dismal fate, BBC News reports. Scientists drilling 1300 meters down into pressurized rock in the gulf’s Chicxulub crater are finding that things couldn’t have been much worse for the last days of the dinosaurs. In addition to billowing clouds of ash that likely clouded the world, killed plants, and stymied food chains, vaporized gypsum from the impact contributed to toxic sulfur in the atmosphere.

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