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Asteroid impact

Asteroid impact

E402/0067

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Credit

VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Asteroid impact. Computer artwork of an asteroid colliding with the Earth. The asteroid could be travelling at several thousands of kilometres an hour. It would be seen as a fireball in the atmosphere and the effects of its impact on the ground or sea would be catastrophic. The amount of water vapour or dust thrown up into the atmosphere would be enough to cut sunlight to the surface and reduce global temperatures. Plant and then animal life would begin to die off. It is believed that the impact of a large asteroid may have caused a mass loss of life that included the extinction of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago.

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