Asteroid impact

Asteroid impact

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Credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Asteroid impact. Computer artwork of pieces of an asteroid in Earth's atmosphere. One of the pieces has impacted the Earth's surface. The high speed of impact vaporises rock or water at the point of impact. Asteroid impacts with the Earth are rare, but it is thought that a large asteroid impact caused the mass loss of life some 65 million years ago that included the extinction of the dinosaurs. The impact would throw large amounts of dust or water vapour into the atmosphere, lowering global temperatures. Plant life and then animal life would begin to die off.

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