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> Tetanurae@aol.com wrote:
> > And this tiny partical of dust is supposed to kick up enough dust and rock 
> > to
> > cloud up the atmosphere, block out the sun, then bake the earth enough to
> > cause massive firestorms!?  Give me a break!  Am the only one that thinks 
> > that
> > this is just slightly absurd?
You have to realize the sheer amount of energy released by such an
impact.  Your typical meteor, that can be seen on a night of stargazing,
is no more than a grain of sand in size, yet look at the bright light it
emits.  The object that created the Baringer Crater in Arizona was
likely only a few meters across, but look at the hole...a mile across. 
An object six miles in diameter , traveling  even a few tens of meters
per second, releases more energy that our planet consumes in a few
years.  The amount of dust and water vapor kicked into the atmospherer
would be more than enough to have global consequences.  Even terrestrial
volcanoes of smaller eruption magnitudes can do this.  Looking at the
plain physics of the matter, a global effect by such an impact cannot be

However, I also do not believe that the impact was the be all end all of
dinosaur extinction.  It may have been the capstone on a minor
extinction already in progress, but I believe that other factors were
already taking their toll by the time the rock hit.

So, be a little careful when you call something absurd...they used to
say that ice ages and continental drift was absurd.  The rock did hit,
and it did have global consequences on plant and animal life.  Whether
or not those consequences were the sole reason for the mass
extinction...well, that will likely remain open to debate for a very
long time.


John M. Dollan
Montana State University-Northern
Graduate Assistant
ICQ# 308260

"To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the
universe...."  Carl Sagan