This is a Commission for Asteroid Day and B612 Foundation of the impact crater in the Gulf of Mexico that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. The pictures have been published around the world, including for Astronomy Magazine in the US and the BBC – with the photograph of the Yucatan Peninsula I asked astronaut Tim Peake to take from the International Space Station, while I was there!
The effort to drill into the Chicxulub Crater off the coast of Mexico has been declared an outstanding success.
A UK/US-led team has spent the past seven weeks coring into the deep bowl cut out of the Earth’s surface 66 million years ago by the asteroid that hastened the end of the dinosaurs.
Rocks nearly 1,300m below the Gulf seafloor have been pulled up.
The samples are expected to reveal new insights on the scale of the impact and its environmental effects.
The operations manager on the project, Dave Smith, said drilling would likely end at midnight on Wednesday.
“The core recovery, we’re all really chuffed about – the almost 100% core recovery and the quality of the cores we’ve been getting up.
“It’s been a remarkable success. We’ve got deeper than I thought we might do,” the British Geological Survey man said.
Co-lead scientists Jo Morgan (Imperial) and Sean Gulick (University of Texas) have exclusive access to the samples
The original target was to get down to 1,500m, cutting through a feature called the “peak ring” in the process.
This ring was created at the centre of the impact hole where the Earth rebounded after being hit by the city-sized space object.
In earlier geophysical surveys that were able to sense below the seabed, the feature looked like an arcing chain of mountains.
Rocks from the ring have certainly been sampled. And even if the 1,500m mark was not reached, the team believes it has more than enough material now to answer its key science questions.
If you would like to read the complete article, please visit this link on BBC News