CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Asteroid impact. Computer artwork of an asteroid impacting Earth's atmosphere. The high speed of impact, tens of thousands of kilometres per hour, causes the rock to vaporise. It would be seen as a fireball in the sky and it would cause devastation on the ground. 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 into the atmosphere, lowering global temperatures. Plant life and then animal life would begin to die off.
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