What killed the dinosaurs? According to Sally Stephens, of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Louis Alvarez and his son Walter jarred the scientific world with their proposal. In 1980, Louis Alvarez, who was a Nobel-Prize winner and his son Walter, who as a geologist, proposed that the dinosaurs become extinct "as the result of an impact of a huge rock from space." Iridium was found in a layer of clay and marked the line between the Cretaceous and Tertiary geological periods. This was the same time as the end of the dinosaurs and the raise of mammals. Iridium is very rare in Earth rocks, but common in rocks in space such as iridium, and "that theorized that the iridium had come from a cosmic impact" (Stephens 21). A large meteor could destroy human life if it were to strike the Earth. This paper will show that what happened to the dinosaurs, could happen to us. .
Stephens goes on to say, most scientists agree that 65 million years ago, a six-mile wide asteroid traveling nine miles per second, "a hundred times faster than a speeding bullet," slammed into Earth. The explosion followed "with the force of a hundred million million tons of TNT", threw dust enriched with iridium high into the atmosphere. This shut off sunlight for weeks or months and cooled the planet. Acid rain and wild fires were also present after the impact. Many plants died, as well as the animals that ate the plants (Stephens 21). Imagine our world, after the devastation of an asteroid impact, completely dark and everything we love about our planet dying right before our eyes. How would we live and what would we feed our children, if all plants and animals were gone?.
As Arlan Allan says, impact craters, 139 were scattered over the surface of the earth, have been identified by scientists. The collision that annihilated the dinosaurs should have left a crater about 90 to 120 miles across. None of the known craters were big or old enough, to be labeled as the one that destroyed the dinosaurs.