Astro Essay2 - Greg Strand Section 110 Cosmic Impacts As...

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Greg Strand Section 110 Cosmic Impacts As Hollywood puts out more and more movies about killer asteroids, plummeting towards Earth, intent on destroying all life as we know it on this planet, society is becoming more wary and concerned of the possibility of a giant asteroid colliding with our planet in the future. This threat has given rise to many programs dedicated on searching the skies for these potential dangers and then tracking them to see if a collision with Earth is possible. By looking at our history and throughout the solar system, we can see that not only are these collisions possible, evidence has shown that our planet may have already been hit by giant asteroids. Some of which have been linked to the extinction of the dinosaurs, over 65 million years ago. It is imperative that we as a society analyze the future risks of an asteroid hitting our planet, but also to come up with a plan to avert this potential disaster if one does arise. Many theories of arisen to try and explain the mass extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period. The one theory that seems to have the most evidence supporting it is that a giant asteroid collided with Earth and caused cataclysmic events on the planet to erase the dinosaurs from existence. The asteroid that hit the planet 65 million years ago was believed by scientists to be approximately 10 kilometers (6 miles) wide (Encarta, 2004). This asteroid was thought to have hit in the Caribbean Sea, just off of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. The collision would have caused widespread destruction of the planet. Ashes and debris would have clouded the skies for years, altering climates and temperatures on Earth. This would have led to the devastation of the dinosaurs and
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eventually lead to the eradication of the entire species.
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