Monday, 10. March 2014
04. 10. 12. - 15:45
A Romanian geologist claims to have discovered a giant meteorite fragment from the much larger meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Scientists have long speculated that the dinosaurs died out when a massive meteorite hit the earth, creating a massive dust cloud that blocked out the sun.
Some have said the meteorite landed in Mexico but more recent studies suggest that this was merely a fragment of the much larger meteorite that struck the earth at another location - a fragment that may have now been found in Romania according to Geologist Marius Paniti.
The meteorite that killed the dinosaurs would have caused tidal waves thousands of meters high, and a cloud of super-heated dust, ash and steam that spread from the crater, as the super heated meteorite burrowed underground in less than a second.
Rock and meteorite fragments, ejected out of the atmosphere by the blast, would have been heated to incandescence upon re-entry, broiling the Earth's surface and igniting global wildfires.
And the colossal shock waves would have triggered global earthquakes and volcanic eruptions with cloud and dust particles covering the entire surface of the Earth for several years, creating a harsh environment for living things.
Geologist Paniti from the University of Timisoara claims to have found a huge fragment of what was the biggest meteorite that has ever fallen on Earth in a cave at Caraş Severin in Cheile Caraşului.
He is so convinced of his find that he has even written to the Guinness Book of Records to register the claim, saying that the massive fragment is still embedded in the wall of the Romanian cave but it is already clear that it is the biggest ever found.
He said: "I was exploring with part of the group and took a slightly different route down a very narrow hole. There embedded in the wall were brightly coloured rocks that I at first thought might be precious stones.
"In the torchlight there were red, yellow and gold fragments as well as some that were pitch black. On closer examination I realised that they were regular rocks which had been subject to extreme heat as would have been caused by entry to the earth's atmosphere."
He added that the unique thing about the meteorite was the amazing toughness of the rock - that was as hard as diamond and could cut glass, he said.
Tests so fat have indicated the meteorite was over 60 million years old and it is believed that it is a fragment of a giant meteorite that hit what was then the Tethis sea, during the Jurassic or Cretaceous period.
Paniti said that the rock had been fused to look like glass in places that would have been caused by the immense heat caused during entry to the earth's atmosphere.
He said: "It had obviously melted because of the incredible heat, it looked like a Swiss cheese."
Experts in Timisoara that have tested fragments say that it is a meteorite - and confirmed that the size of the object would make it the largest ever found.
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