“The Day the Earth Rained Glass” –Prelude to Extinction

End of Dinosaur Epoch

 

The beginning of the end started with violent shaking that raised giant waves in the waters of an inland sea in what is now North Dakota. Then, tiny glass beads began to fall like birdshot from the heavens. The rain of glass was so heavy it may have set fire to much of the vegetation on land. In the water, fish struggled to breathe as the beads clogged their gills, says paleontologist Robert DePalma about the killing field laid down soon after the asteroid impact that eventually led to the extinction of all ground-dwelling dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous Period, the so-called K-T boundary, that exterminated 75 percent of life on Earth.

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“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. “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.

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