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Asteroid responsible for mass extinction of dinosaurs on Earth possibly caused megatsunami on Mars

DNA logo DNA 03-12-2022 (DNA Web Desk)
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An asteroid impact similar to the Chicxulub collision which resulted in the mass extinction of most dinosaurs on Earth, that occurred in a shallow ocean zone, was likely the origin of a megatsunami on Mars.

In the past, scientists have hypothesised that a tsunami had occurred about three billion years ago as a result of an asteroid strike on a Martian ocean in the northern plains. 

Researchers examined maps of Mars' surface that were generated using photographs from past missions to the planet for the latest study, which was published in the journal Scientific Reports. The location of the impact crater wasn't known before this study.

The in-issue crater has a diameter of 110 kilometres and is situated in an area where earlier research indicates that an ocean may have once been present. The authors of the current study hypothesise, say that an asteroid collision could have caused this crater to emerge some 3.4 billion years ago.

Also read: Bright flash was black hole jet aimed at Earth, scientists claim

The scientists simulated asteroid impacts in this area to determine what kind of impact may have produced this crater and the megatsunami to reach this result. According to the models, an asteroid of nine kilometres in length that contacted substantial ground resistance or an asteroid of three kilometres in length that encountered mild ground resistance might both produce identical craters. These impacts have the potential to produce either 0.5 million or 13 million megatons of TNT energy.

To put it into perspective, the Tsar Bomba, the most potent thermonuclear weapon ever tested, produced energy equivalent to about 57 tonnes of TNT. However, both of these speculative impacts would result in craters 110 kilometres across and tsunamis that may travel up to 1,500 kilometres from the point of the impact site.

According to the experts, this impact may have shared many parallels with the Chicxulub impact, which may have caused enormous megatsunamis and earthquakes

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