The dinosaurs never stood a chance, as asteroid effects more than doubled 290 million years ago.
By studying the moon, an international scientist revealed that the number of asteroids collided in the ground and its satellite increased by two to three times towards the end of the paleozoic era.
Contrary to popular belief, most of the planet's more primitive asteroid-produced craters were not erased by erosion and other geological processes.
"The relative rarity of large craters on the earth older than 290 million years and younger than 650 million years is not due to the fact that we lost the craters, but because the power frequency of that time was lower than it is now," says co-author Rebecca Ghent, a lecturer at the University of Toronto.
"We expect this to be of interest to anyone interested in both Earth and Moon impact history," she said, "and the role it could have played in the history of life on E arth."
For decades, researchers have used radiometric dating of rocks around craters to determine their ages. But because of the (now debunked) erosion theory, it was difficult to identify exact rates and changes.
Then they turned to the second best thing: The moon, which is hit by asteroids in the same proportions over time as Earth. And thanks to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), analysts have a decade worth of data to inspect.
"LRO's instruments have enabled researchers to look back in time on the forces that formed the Moon," Noah Petro, a LRO project researcher at Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a statement.
Using the LRO's Diviner instrument, which measures heat radiating from the Moon's surface, the team gathers the age of all lunar critters under one billion years.
When Compared to a timeline from Earth they found the two orbs that were recorded in the same story with asteroid bombardment.
"It became clear that the reason why Earth has fewer older craters in its most stable regions is that its impact was lower up to about 290 million years ago," explained paper writer William Bottke, an asteroid expert at the Southwest Research Institute. in Boulder, Colo. "The answer to the Earth's speed of impact was all staring at the face."
However, researchers still do not understand why the efficiency increased so strongly. They believe it may be related to major collisions in the main asteroid band between Mars and Jupiter, which may have created dirt in the inner solar system.
"The results can also have an impact on the history of life on Earth, which is dotted with extinction events and rapid development of new species," Ghent said. "The question is whether the predicted change in the asteroid effect can be directly related to events that occurred long ago on Earth."
The study was published last week in the journal Science .
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