Science

Asteroids Can Nuture New Life On Earth - Here's How

By Rodney Rafols , Nov 18, 2016 01:24 AM EST

Asteroids are mostly known to destroy once they crash into Earth. Some of the mass extinctions that have happened are speculated to have been caused by the asteroid impact. What most people aren't aware is that asteroids don't just destroy, but build life as well.

Once an asteroid hits, there is much destruction. This is most true for asteroids that are large, such as the one that is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs. While they mostly destroy, they also create new landscapes and formations. These new formations might become niches wherein life can begin again.

The Chicxulub impact 65 million years ago killed the dinosaurs and much of life on Earth. While much of the area where the impact happened was vaporized, scientists studying the area have found that the material formed out of the impact has to be less dense. The samples were taken from the inner ring of the crater, called the peak ring.

These rocks were not only less dense, but porous as well. Scientists say that the porous rock could be a good place where small life forms could live. The rocks could also hold nutrients for them, according to the Imperial College London site. This could be the likely place where life began again after the impact.

 In their study, the researchers have found that rocks around 10 kilometers deep in the Earth have been pushed inward first, and the outward due to the force of the impact. This means that the rocks were moved up and out to about 30 kilometers from where they were. This shows just how much force the asteroid impact had, as Phys Org reports

Professor Joanna Morgan is the lead author and from the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London. She observed that the asteroid which destroyed the dinosaurs has also provided refuge for new life to begin. She said that the samples would be analyzed further to know how life survived in the days after the impact.

The research team will study the sediment on top of the peak ring, to see if a tsunami has also occurred shortly after impact. Their study shows that asteroids don't just destroy, but build life as well. Scientists have also found a passive galaxy with much hydrogen in it.

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