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The dinosaurs were wiped out 65 million years ago by at least two meteorite impacts, rather than a single strike, a new study suggests.
Previously, scientists had identified a huge impact crater in the Gulf of Mexico as the event that spelled doom for the dinosaurs.
Now evidence for a second impact in the Ukraine has been uncovered.
This raises the possibility that the Earth may have been bombarded by a whole shower of meteorites.
Rather than being wiped out by a single hit, the researchers think that dinosaurs may have fallen victim to a meteorite shower raining down over thousands of years.
It's not a question of "IF" there will be another big impact, it's only a question of "WHEN". Astronomers are searching the skies for Earth crossing objects but right now there aren't any known extinction impacts pending within the next century or so. But:
Originally posted by Big Raging Loner
Well IMO the dinosaurs had a good run. But does this mean we can likely expect a similar situation should we ever be faced with an incoming object?
In 1993 and 1998 the U.S. Congress held hearings to study the hazards associated with NEOs. In 1997 NASA formulated a plan to find 90% of the NEOs larger than 1 km in diameter within the next 10 years. Still, at the current rate at which these objects are discovered and tracked, it will take over 100 years to achieve the 90% objective. Currently NASA spends about $3 million per year on this survey of space objects. How does this compare with funding for mitigation of less likely, but more local hazards in the Table of odds shown above?
Risk - It is estimated that in any given year the odds that you will die from an impact of an asteroid or comet are about 1 in 20,000. The table below shows the odds of dying in the U.S. from various other causes. Although 1 in 20,000 seem like long odds, you have about the same odds of dying in an airplane crash, and somewhat less risk of dying from other natural disasters likes floods and tornadoes. In fact the odds of dying from an impact event are much better than the odds of winning the lottery.