The Day the Earth Rained Glass

End of Dinosaur Epoch


“Driving through the lonely, windswept ranchlands of southwestern North Dakota, we got out of our field vehicle, passed through through a rickety gate in a flimsy barbed-wire fence, and entered a postage-stamp-sized plot of eroded landscape. Soon we were digging out fossil fish that died 66 million years ago choking on melt-glass spherules thrown into the atmosphere by the meteor impact 1800 miles to the south in Yucatan, Mexico, that had killed the dinosaurs, opening the way for mammals, and eventually humans, to take over the terrestrial world,” planetary scientist Mark Richards wrote to The Daily Galaxy in an email about what was one of the defining events in the history of planet Earth. 


“Impact” -The Asteroid That Towered a Mile Above the Cruising Altitude of a 747

Chicxulub Impact


“The asteroid itself was so large that, even at the moment of impact, the top of it might have still towered more than a mile above the cruising altitude of a 747,” writes Peter Brannen in Ends of the World about the Chicxulub impact. “In its nearly instantaneous descent, it compressed the air below it so violently that it briefly became several times hotter than the surface of the sun,” hitting Earth with enough force enough to lift a mountain back into space at escape velocity.