When an asteroid hit the planet about 65 million years ago, it was the end of so many Dinosaur species.
Even though the event took place millions of years before the first Homo Sapien walked the planet, scientists have now found evidence of the said doomsday asteroid on the Moon.
In the findings, scientists were able to find accompanying smaller asteroids that hit both the moon and Earth around the same period.
Craters formed from the impact numbered over 9,000 which gave further clues to the heavy bombardment the satellite planet has endured.
According to reports, the research could help astronomers understand the dynamics of the inner solar system as well as assist in the calculation of the likelihood of our planet ever getting struck by a massive asteroid in the future.
The research was conducted by Scientists from Curtin University’s Space Science and Technology Centre (SSTC) in Australia where they obtained the results by studying microscopic glass beads within the lunar soil samples returned to Earth by China’s Chang’e-5 lunar mission back in 2020.
These tiny glass beads were created by the intense heat and pressure generated by meteor strikes. This means researchers can reconstruct a timeline of lunar bombardment by assessing the ages of these beads.
The SSTC researchers also found that both the timing and the frequency of the asteroid impacts on the moon were similar to the space rock strikes on Earth.
In other words, there were strong links due to the timeline of the strike on both Earth and its satellite planet, the Moon.
“We combined a wide range of microscopic analytical techniques, numerical modeling, and geological surveys to determine how these microscopic glass beads from the moon were formed and when,” lead study author Alexander Nemchin, a professor at SSTC, said in a statement.
The carbon dating of some of the lunar glass beads showed they were created about 66 million years ago which was near the same time the doomsday asteroid that wiped out the majority of life on the planet struck.
The space rock is often referred to as the Chicxulub impactor. It struck the planet in what is now known as the Gulf of Mexico, near Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.
The impact led to what is known as the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, which ultimately killed three-quarters of all life on Earth, including the nonavian dinosaurs.
In size, the Chicxulub Impactor was about 6.2 miles wide (10 kilometers) and it struck Earth at about 12 miles per second (19.3 kilometers per second) or 43,200 mph (69,524 kph).
It left behind a huge crater that measures about 93 miles (150 km) wide and 12 miles (19 km) deep.
The asteroid led to massive shock waves and it led to a lot of life-altering knock-on effects on the planet one of which was a thick cloud of dust that blocked the sun.
The new research from SSTC joins other work suggesting that this monster dinosaur-killing space rock may have been joined by other, smaller asteroids that also struck Earth and that could be revealed by studying the moon’s history of asteroid impacts.
“The study also found that large impact events on Earth, such as the Chicxulub crater 66 million years ago, could have been accompanied by a number of smaller impacts,” Nemchin said. “If this is correct, it suggests that the age-frequency distributions of impacts on the moon might provide valuable information about the impacts on the Earth or inner solar system.”
The team is further working to compare data collected from the Chang’e-5 lunar soil samples with other soil samples from the moon with the ages of craters across the lunar surface.
This will help reveal other impacts across the moon and help uncover signs of asteroid impacts on Earth which could have had effects on life on the planet.