back to article Dino-killing asteroid traced back 160m years

The dinosaur-busting asteroid that slammed into Earth some 65 million years ago has been traced back to a collision between two monster chunks of rock 160 million years ago, out in the main asteroid belt. A smashing time. Art by Don Davis According to researchers at the Southwest research Institute (SwRI) and the University …


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  1. Chris Morrison

    Far fetched

    I never believe any of these space theories. How can any scientist ever see this as fact. Theres just too many assumptions and guesses. A load of baloney to ensure next years research grant goes through.


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bloody friends

    ...very sad, I know - but I can't get the picture of Ross from Friends on the roof looking up into the skies for the Baptstine King Comet now... God I hate E4

  3. Luke Wells

    160 million years ago

    I have no idea how people come up with these space theories?

    160 million years ago.... how can you even begin to guess? Even Dot Cotton from Eastenders was not arround back then!

  4. Simon Riley

    Size of Wales?

    It's all very well saying 170km. What's that in real money? (i.e. compared to the size of Wales)

  5. eddiewrenn

    bloody friends #2

    ROSS: You mean you don't believe in gravity?

    PHOEBE: It's not I don't believe in it, but you know, I don't feel like I'm being pulled down, more like I'm being pushed down.

    *knock at door

    CHANDLER: Uh-oh, it's Isaac Newton, and he's looking pissed!


    Bloody friends, but I read that line somewhere the other day and it raised a smirk :)

  6. Daniel Grey

    Chicx no longer the culprit

    Recent studies by Prof. Gerta Keller (reviewed in this month's Geoscientist magazine) have thrown serious doubts on whether the Chicxulub impact had anything to do with the extinction of the dinosaurs.

    The impact predates the end of the Maastrichtian (the infamous K-T Boundary) by 300,000 years and appears to have had no effect on life at the time.

    References are available ;-)

  7. Edward Fingleton


    After all the earth was only created 6000 years ago ;)

  8. Rusty D

    re: bloody friends #2

    Was that not an episode that was on either last night, or the night before. I'm not sure ... my E4 Friend's viewing has started to become a bit of a blur.

    Must ... watch ... something ... else. Arrrhhhhh - there's nothing else on!

  9. Colin Jackson


    @Chris Morrison

    Thanks for the "argument from personal incredulity". That's on a par with "how can you believe all this was just chance?".

  10. Alex


    How can you people be so blindingly stupid?

    Approximations and such are used in these models, which is why it says 160+/- 20 million years. That's a very large error (12.5%) but it's good nevertheless.

    Luke Wells: try studying a bit of classical mechanics. You mgiht be surprised what can be predicted / traced back through planetary motion.

    Chris Morrison: Before you disbelieve, try doing it yourself / looking at the paper and also realise that there is a reason for the error stated.

    Whether science actually takes anything for fact or whether all we know is a succession of better and better approximations is a bunch of philosophy i'm not going to go into.

  11. Peter Mc Aulay

    Bah indeed

    Also known as the "argument from ignorance". Determining the common origin of a group of asteroid fragments isn't actually *that* hard.

  12. Jon

    @ Alex

    On each of your points(?)..

    Very easily..

    If my pay was off by 12.5% I'd be a bit miffed (or maybe not if we were talking + rather than -)

    What if we don't want to "Study a bit of classical mechanics"?? What are you going to do about it huh.. Wanna step outside? ;-)

    The paper in front of me is blank.. What are you talking about?

    Aww.. please do.. More cannon fodder!

    Although I studied Applied Physics at Uni, I don't consciously use it in my day to day life. Physicists have a reputation of being boring, so I tell them I studied gynacology, which raises a few eyebrows (sadly that's all!), and with good reason if this is anything to go by, there's guesstimate science, which this article obviously was, but you've come straight in with the usual nit-picking that goes on.. This was an interesting aticle.. Chris was expressing a personal opinion (and he has a point) about something that he's entitled .. If you don't like that, go and live in Iran where you aren't allowed one.

  13. Douglas

    Bloody amazing.

    I had a similar success recently.

    I saw two vehicles that had collided on the road the other day. Looking at the scraps of metal, using my pocket calculator, I was able to calculate that the driver of one vehicle left for work at 7:32 am and 20 seconds, had 3 tots of brandy before he left, and was suffering from tennis elbow.

  14. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Personal opinions

    So Chris is entitled to express his personal opinion, but nobody else ?

    Sounds like we're already in Iran.

  15. MD Rackham

    They always are

    I knew that Baptistina familiy was trouble as soon as they moved in.

  16. Mike Moyle

    Re: Science

    I don't neccesarily doubt that the scientists have produced *A* solution that matches their premise - that the Chixilib meteor was part of the Baptistinas.

    I'm just amazed that they have solved the N-body problem for somethink with that many variables, even within a 12% degree of certainty. I assume that they started from the (presumed) date and time (?) of the impact to estimate the direction and speed of mpact (?!) and worked backwards from there, calculating any perturbations from the moving gravity masses of Jupiter and the inner planets and the sun.

    Quite impressive, really.

    Or, they just said, "We have this big asteroid collision - how can we get some press-time...? Hey! Let's tell everyone that the dino-killer may have been one of ours! (...ummm... The statute of limitations HAS run out on that one, right?) RIGHT! I'll start typing up the press release, then!"

  17. The Aussie Paradox

    Dinosaur down! I repeat, Dinosaur down!

    So, they still haven't ruled out Second-Hand cigerette smoke or mobile phones as the cause yet?

  18. DrunkenMessiah

    @Mike Moyle

    I'm sure you have a great point but you've lost all credibility with that k on the end of somethinG.

    The Aussie Paradox - How about some of that nice global warming we've been hearing so much about?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nukes W and nukes

    As his last act as president of the united states W plans to nuke Iran. Think that bow legged sociopath from Texas won't do it won't bother him a bit don't know what the aftermath will be like but it's going to be hell.Oh yes and well meteors might have done what they said so what.

  20. The Aussie Paradox


    Global Warming is a myth, like Santa Clause, Tooth Fairy, The Moon Landing and APEC security.


  21. anthony bingham

    Science through the looking glass ...

    Life is far too important to be taken seriously ... adding a few million years to a "shot in the dark" could easily make a Mountain out of a "hole in the ground"

    If this is too intense try a water sport!

  22. evil tom

    Have a nice little read of an interesting article, says I...

    ...but no. Have to be forced back into the cubicle of contemporary human perception with its faith-based logic, irrational skepticism, and Talibangelist threats of forcible deportation to Iran if someone hints that perhaps, the scientists have it right about that dino-killing asteroid...

    As for opinions being valid arguments, since when did opinion start to trump evidence based reasoning? Telling someone they are wrong is not the same as saying they don't have a right to their opinion.

    "2 + 2 = 5... " (No, it doesn't.)

    "How dare you infringe on my right to free speech? You should live in Iran, where they don't have freedoms! Freedom-hater!"

    (I would say there might be something to paleontology, but then I might be compared to Hitler.)

    Instead, why don't we all just take our towels (always know where your towel is) and stare out into the vast inky blackness of space in the hopes that - for our own sake - one of those planet-whomping iceballs is still lurking just behind the veil of night to deliver us from ourselves.

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