The Chicxulub impactor that collided with Earth around 60 million years ago doesn’t represent the worst-case scenario that our planet can face. Even though that event led to the extinction of the dinosaurs and the blocking of sunlight for hundreds of years, you know how things go in the Universe: there’s always room for worse.
There are always bigger threats for our planet lurking in the depths of the Galaxy, and we have even another proof for it.
Asteroids larger than the Chicxulub impactor hit the Earth 800 million years ago
If it happened before, it means that it will happen again someday unless humanity will possess the right technology for deflecting or destroying such cosmic objects. Japan’s lunar orbiter Kaguya gathered enough data to reveal that meteors more massive than the impactor that killed the dinosaurs have already visited Earth. It happened 800 million years ago, long before the Chicxulub impactor itself.
Also, the moon was the victim of a similar bombardment. The data also reveals that a flurry of small asteroids collided with our natural satellite, and the outcome is represented by the numerous craters that we all can see today on the moon’s surface.
From the data provided by the Japan’s orbiter, the researchers analyzed 59 lunar craters ranging from 12 to 58 miles in diameter. Then, as the big craters ejected surrounding material, the scientists could count the number of smaller craters measuring from 300 feet up to 0.6 miles in diameter.
The scientists involved had been relying on orbits of asteroid groups that wandered around 800 million years ago, and they believe that disruption of Eulalia caused the storm. Eulalia is a rocky, carbon-rich cosmic object from our solar system’s asteroid belt, and it measures about 25 miles (40 km) in diameter. The researchers modeled the size and amount of cosmic bodies that smashed into Earth and the moon, and thus they concluded that there’s a significant extra amount of space debris.
This offers an intriguing perspective on a dramatic transformation regarding the Earth’s past that happened between 800 million and 700 million years ago.
The study was published in the journal Nature.