Asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs caused a mile-high tsunami

We knew the Chicxulub crater was massive. We just didn't know how widespread the damage actually was.

  • The asteroid that crashed into the Yucatan caused a mile-high tsunami.
  • The wave was 52 times higher and 2,600 times more energetic than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed over 227,000 people.
  • Sediment was disturbed 3,700 miles from the site of the crash.
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Would scientists tell us about a looming apocalypse?

If a doomsday asteroid is set to collide with Earth, you're going to know about it – whether you want to or not.

  • NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller fields one question with a heavy heart: If scientists knew there was a catastrophic asteroid heading towards Earth, would they tell us?
  • What about aliens? Is NASA hiding aliens from the public? Are they "in" on conspiracy theories? Scientists are, on the contrary, eager to communicate their findings to the media and the public, says Thaller.
  • "To me it speaks to the separation that somehow scientists are this monolithic inhuman group; that we could hide things, that we would want to," says Thaller. No single telescope owns the sky. If there's a doomsday asteroid coming, scientists all over the world are going to let the world know about it.
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Water may be an inevitable result of the process that forms rocky planets

New research identifies an unexpected source for some of earth's water.

  • A lot of Earth's water is asteroidal in origin, but some of it may come from dissolved solar nebula gas.
  • Our planet hides majority of its water inside: two oceans in the mantle and 4–5 in the core.
  • New reason to suspect that water is abundant throughout the universe.
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Why humanity owes a lot to Jupiter

Our friendly neighborhood gas giant serves as a cosmic catcher's mitt.

NASA
  • In 1994, a comet struck Jupiter, exploding on the gas giant's surface in an incredibly violent fireball.
  • Such collisions are not uncommon for Jupiter. What is uncommon, however, are solar systems with planets like Jupiter.
  • Without Jupiter, life on Earth might have been obliterated by comets and asteroids before it even got a chance to begin. The fact that Jupiter-like planets are so rare might be one of the reasons why we haven't found intelligent life yet.
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Harvard scientists suggest 'Oumuamua is an alien device

It's an asteroid, it's a comet, it's actually a spacecraft?

(ESO/M. Kornmesser)
  • 'Oumuamua is an oddly shaped, puzzling celestial object because it doesn't act like anything naturally occurring.
  • The issue? The unexpected way it accelerated near the Sun. Is this our first sign of extraterrestrials?
  • It's pronounced: oh MOO-uh MOO-uh.
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