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Encyclopedia > Impact events
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  Results from FactBites:
Impact Cratering on Earth (2144 words)
For impact events on Earth that form craters larger than approximately 1 km across, the pressures and temperatures produced upon impact are sufficient to completely melt and even vaporize the impacting body and some of the target rocks, though a small fraction of the impactor can locally be preserved for even the largest impacts.
The tendency to discount impact processes as a factor in the Earth's more recent geologic history was severely challenged by the interpretation in 1980 that Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary sediments world-wide were due to a major impact event and that impact was the causal agent for a mass extinction event.
The Tunguska event in 1908 was due to the atmospheric explosion of a relatively small, approximately few tens of metres, body at an altitude of 10 km.
Terrestrial Impact Craters Slide Set (1908 words)
Impact cratering research has gained attention throughout the world following the suggestion that a large impact event caused the extinction of about 50% of all living species, including the dinosaurs, approximately 65 million years ago.
Based on apparent correspondences between periodicities observed in the marine extinction record and in the terrestrial impact record, some scientists have suggested that large meteorite impacts might be the metronome that sets the cadence of biological evolution on Earth —; an unproved but intriguing hypothesis.
Impact craters are formed when a large meteoroid (asteroid or comet) crashes into a larger planetary body that has a solid surface.
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