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Animation showing an asteriod hitting the Earth and sending huge clouds of dust all over the Earth.

Image that says Giant Impact.
Image that says: Look up above and far away-- An asteriod may hit one day.  They seldom pass Earth's atmosphere but when they do destructions's near.  We now believe that at one time, when dinosaurs were in their prime, some sixty million years ago, a comet dealt its fatal blow.

Image of a dinosaur with a space helmet on his head.Giant Impact
Well, here we are, floating in space far above the Earth. The Earth is so beautiful on this sunny cretaceous morning! Sunlight glints off the oceans, a warm wind stirs the leaves and flowers of the vast forests and meadows. Multitudes of dinosaurs and their relatives swim in the seas, fly in the air, and walk upon the lands. How peaceful it is!

Yeeeeow! What just whizzed by? It is a giant asteroid, ten miles across, and it's headed right for Earth! A brilliant flash envelopes the intruder as it enters the atmospher--will it burn up in the sky like a meteor? NO! It strikes the shallow sea in a blinding fireball! A vast cone of red-hot rock and steam blasts upward above the atmosphere only to fall back and flare again upon re-entry. Vast forest fires are ignited all over the world by the intense heat! Mile-high waves from the impact site roar across the shorelines of North and South America, sweeping everything away! Huge clouds of dust quickly spread from the impact site to cover the whole Earth!

Finally the surface of Earth is hidden from us by the clouds of dust and steam. As the global fires die out below the clouds, the whole surface of Earth grows dark and cold. It is all over in an hour, but it will be six months before sunlight reaches the ground again! How can anything survive?

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Image that says Dinosaur Floor.
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Image of a star. Giant Impacts
A Global Disaster!
Craters on the Moon and Planets
Craters on Earth
Can They Hit?
Asteroids
Comets

 

 
             
     
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Giant Impacts | A Global Disaster! | Craters on the Moon and Planets | Craters on Earth | Can They Hit? | Asteroids | Comets

Giant Impact | Super Nova | Disease | Volcanoes | Orbital Changes | Meet the Dinosaurs | Into the Future

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Button that takes you to the Dinosaur Floor page.Button that takes you to the Earth Floor page.Button that takes you to the Resource Room page.Button that takes you to the Teacher's Lounge page.Button that takes you to the Elevator page.

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Last updated on
April 28, 2005

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