Around 66 million years ago, an asteroid larger than Mt. Everest ripped through the atmosphere of Earth, striking our planet at the Yucatán Peninsula, on the southeastern coast of Mexico.
Simulations show the impactor struck Earth at an angle around 60 degrees to the surface of Earth.
Striking at this angle, the asteroid kicked up the greatest possible amount of dust, maximizing climate change, killing off the clade of animals, as well as 75 percent of other species on Earth.
The asteroid strike unleashed an incredible amount of climate-changing gases into the atmosphere, triggering a chain of events that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
This was likely worsened by the fact that it struck at one of the deadliest possible angles,” said Professor Gareth Collins of Imperial’s Department of Earth Science and Engineering, lead researcher on the study.