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Comet May Have Collided With Earth 13,000 Years Ago(MEXICO)
Spacedotcom ^ | March 6, 2012 | Clara Moskowitz

Posted on 07/15/2012 5:03:34 PM PDT by ForGod'sSake

Central Mexico’s Lake Cuitzeo contains melted rock formations and nanodiamonds that suggest a comet impacted Earth around 12,900 years ago, scientists say.

Central Mexico’s Lake Cuitzeo contains melted rock formations and nanodiamonds that suggest a comet impacted Earth around 12,900 years ago, scientists say.

CREDIT: Israde et al. (2012)


New evidence supports the idea that a huge space rock collided with our planet about 13,000 years ago and broke up in Earth's atmosphere, a new study suggests.

This impact would have been powerful enough to melt the ground, and could have killed off many large mammals and humans. It may even have set off a period of unusual cold called the Younger Dryas that began at that time, researchers say.

The idea that Earth experienced an asteroid or comet impact at the start of the Younger Dryas has been controversial, in part because there is no smoking-gun impact crater left behind as with other known events in our planet's past. But researchers say it's common for space rocks to disintegrate in the heat of a planet's atmosphere before they can reach the ground.

The scientists first reported their suspicions about the event in 2007. Now, they say, a new site in Central Mexico's Lake Cuitzeo displays telltale signs of an impact, including melted rock formations called spherules and microscopic diamonds that could only have formed under extreme temperatures.

The researchers, led by Isabel Israde-Alcántara of Mexico's Universidad Michoacana de San Nicólas de Hidalgo, published their findings online March 5 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This scanning electron microscope image shows magnetic impact spherules likely to have been created by an asteroid or comet impact 12,900 years ago, researchers say.
This scanning electron microscope image shows a magnetic impact spherule likely to have been created by an asteroid or comet impact 12,900 years ago, researchers say.
CREDIT: Israde et al. (2012)

Buried evidence

"If you don't have a crater, you're a little bit lost," said space scientist Ted Bunch of Northern Arizona University, a member of the research team. "Here what we have is something similar to an aerial bomb blast. With these aerial bursts, with time all the evidence is wiped away unless it's buried." [Best Close Encounters of the Comet Kind]

In addition to the Mexican site, the scientists have found signs of an impact in Canada, the United States, Russia, Syria and various sites in Europe. And all of these bits of evidence were found buried in a thin layer of rock that dates to precisely 12,900 years ago.

"If you have an event like this in a 1- or 2-inch layer that dates to exactly the same age over a very large area, and you have high-temperature materials and nanodiamonds in there, the evidence pretty well points to an event that as pretty disastrous," Bunch told SPACE.com.

This wouldn't have been the only aerial impact event ever to hit Earth. Scientists think a space rock exploded over Siberia in 1908, flattening 500,000 acres (2,000 square kilometers) of forest in what's known as the Tunguska event.

Heat flash

If a comet, which would have been traveling at about 30 miles per second, impacted Earth's atmosphere, it would have created a flash of extreme heat reaching about 3,000 to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,600 to 2,200 degrees Celsius).

In addition to melting the ground, such temperatures would have proven cataclysmic to many kinds of life.

At the same time that the impact may have taken place — 12,900 years ago — Earth was beginning a mini ice age. It is known that many large animals, such as the mammoth and the saber-toothed cat, did not survive this age. There's even evidence of a population decline in humans living in North America at the time, called the Clovis culture.

The researchers aren't claiming that the comet impact caused the climate changes at the time, but Bunch said such an event would have had a significant effect on Earth's climate.

"We're not going to come out and say it did do it, but it's more than a coincidence that the timing happened exactly the time that a lot of climatic conditions occurred and you had the loss of various species," Bunch said.

Still, the researchers predict some skeptics will remain unconvinced that Earth was hit by space rock during the Younger Dryas.

"There's always going to be theoretical and statistical people who would never believe it even if they were there," Bunch said."I think what we're trying to do is open up a vista there for people to examine the data themselves and make their own conclusions."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bolide; catastrophism; clovis; clovisimpact; comets; ele; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; impact; lakecuitzeo; mexico; stalactites; stalagmites; youngerdryas
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To: Tucker39
I bet that’s how we got red hot chili peppers. Aiee! Carramba!

Not to mention outgassing, mucho outgassing.

21 posted on 07/15/2012 6:06:49 PM PDT by ForGod'sSake (You have only two choices: SUBMIT or RESIST with everything you've got!!!)
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To: ForGod'sSake
If I didn’t know better I’d say you’re trying to hijack a perfectly good science thread.

Odd. I was thinking the exact same thing about you.

Shall we call a truce pending a better venue?

22 posted on 07/15/2012 6:11:11 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1271 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: null and void
If you want to hijack an incoherent thread, do it right.

Michigan to help migrant workers left without summer housing due to devastated fruit crop
23 posted on 07/15/2012 6:14:38 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: null and void
Shall we call a truce pending a better venue?

Suits me.

24 posted on 07/15/2012 6:17:06 PM PDT by ForGod'sSake (You have only two choices: SUBMIT or RESIST with everything you've got!!!)
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To: ForGod'sSake

Excellent, my sense of you is that we could have a good conversation and hopefully learn from each other. Looking forward to it.


25 posted on 07/15/2012 6:18:45 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1271 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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To: cripplecreek

26 posted on 07/15/2012 6:23:33 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard

Aww crap and a camper.


27 posted on 07/15/2012 6:26:12 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Lancey Howard

Lemme guess, you call out this guy when your toilet shocks you? As a matter of curiousity, does he have to have two licenses; in addition to his drivers license of course???


28 posted on 07/15/2012 6:32:04 PM PDT by ForGod'sSake (You have only two choices: SUBMIT or RESIST with everything you've got!!!)
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To: null and void

You’ll find I’m frequently wrong but never in doubt. ;^)


29 posted on 07/15/2012 6:35:38 PM PDT by ForGod'sSake (You have only two choices: SUBMIT or RESIST with everything you've got!!!)
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To: ForGod'sSake

Perfect. I’m frequently right but always in doubt. ;^(


30 posted on 07/15/2012 6:39:14 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1271 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Heroes aren't made Frank, they're cornered...)
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The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: Flood, Fire, and Famine in the History of Civilization The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes:
Flood, Fire, and Famine
in the History of Civilization

by Richard Firestone,
Allen West, and
Simon Warwick-Smith


31 posted on 07/15/2012 6:55:33 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: 75thOVI; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; ...
Thanks ForGod'sSake and BenLurkin!



32 posted on 07/15/2012 6:55:53 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ForGod'sSake; BenLurkin; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks ForGod'sSake and BenLurkin! To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


33 posted on 07/15/2012 6:58:28 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: ForGod'sSake

Shocking! They found Biden's Brain...


34 posted on 07/15/2012 7:10:31 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: SunkenCiv
I wonder if disasters like the Tunguska Event are more frequent that we realized. Absence of craters from these kinds of impacts might disguise how often they happen.
35 posted on 07/15/2012 7:11:15 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: SunkenCiv
Have you seen other articles about impacts contemporaneous with the one believed to have hit northern North America ~12,900 years ago. I've seen other posts/articles discussing black mat layers etc in other parts of the northern hemisphere and assumed it was the result of the one that hit northern NA, but nothing this far south.
36 posted on 07/15/2012 7:16:30 PM PDT by ForGod'sSake (You have only two choices: SUBMIT or RESIST with everything you've got!!!)
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To: ForGod'sSake

I hadn’t seen anything about something that far south, either (that I recall) but having multiple parts of the same object arrive at slightly different times appears to be more common than the reverse. We should all wait to see about the dating of this new find — perhaps it happened earlier or later, like perhaps it’s dated the same as Berringer crater(still no solid, agreed-upon date for that impact).


37 posted on 07/15/2012 7:25:51 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: BenLurkin

There is no reason to think that the Earth had not taken as many hits proportionally as what we can see on the Moon. Yes our atmosphere is going to break up the asteroids more but it should be about the same.


38 posted on 07/15/2012 7:28:33 PM PDT by Clay Moore (The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of a fool to the left. Ecclesiastes 10:2)
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To: ForGod'sSake; null and void; SunkenCiv
Shall we call a truce pending a better venue?

Now that makes an impact. And how odd. It ended an ice age...

39 posted on 07/15/2012 7:29:26 PM PDT by bigheadfred (MY PET TAPEWORM OBIWAN IS AN INSANE MILITARY HATING LEFTIST)
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To: BenLurkin

For a long while it was taught that all of Earth's impact craters formed during the Late Heavy Bombardment, and that all trace of them had been eroded away, because Earth is unique etc. Turns out people just weren't looking for them, now nearly 200 have been identified and studied.
40 posted on 07/15/2012 7:52:29 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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