News Stories

Impacts Made Us What We Are

Fear of space rock impacts have ussearching theskies for the latest incoming asteroid. In the past,collisions with objects from space have not onlydestroyed lifeon earth, they have alsocreated it. Anasteroid is headed for Mars?will this happen there too?

In LiveScience.com, Dave Mosher reports that an incomingspace rock caused ?an explosion in biodiversity about 470million years ago...Within a few million years, the numberof trilobite species and scores of other creatures on Earthjumped at least three to four times.? He quotes geologistBirger Schmitz as saying, "We saw a sudden jump in meteoritematerial around the time of increased biodiversity?greaterthan 100 times more material, in fact. That's a major event,and an incredible coincidence that I don't think we shouldignore?It seems completely at odds with anyone'sexpectations [that asteroids are destructive, not creative]but you have to remember?that it was at first difficult formany scientists to accept asteroid explanations for thedisappearance of the dinosaurs."

Meanwhile, science reporter Alicia Change writes that ?anewly discovered hunk of space rock has a 1 in 75 chance ofslamming into the Red Planet on Jan. 30.?

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

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