DAVID A. KRING / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID A. KRING / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Chicxulub impact ejecta. Polarised light micrograph of a shocked quartz grain ejected from the Chicxulub meteorite impact crater. This impact may have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs and 70% of Earth's species some 65 million years ago. The grain is a whole crystal. The bright birefringence colours are caused by the different thicknesses across the sample. The dark lines are thin planes of glass and tiny fault lines caused by the impact. Originally part of the impact site on the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico, this grain was found in Haiti. Impact debris has been found worldwide in a layer of rocks called the K/T boundary. Magnification: x390 at 5x7 inch size.
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