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Team At Colorado Springs To Search For Asteroid Evidence
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A team of scientists and volunteers will
descend on Colorado Springs this month to search for evidence of a monster
asteroid they believe smashed into Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula about 65.5
million years ago.
A team from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science says it has found
evidence of the clay and its asteroid ash in Colorado Springs and the
surrounding region. They hope a three-day dig this month will produce more
"We are studying all the rock underlying the city," said Kirk Johnson,
chief curator of paleontology at the Denver museum.
Two sources of iridium exist. It is found in the Earth's core, brought to
the surface in eruptions of certain types of volcanoes. And it is found in
space rock, like meteors and asteroids, and the cosmic dust that
constantly showers Earth's atmosphere.
The theory is difficult to prove because, generally, the layer of clay is
buried deep below the Earth's surface.
Except in Colorado Springs and other places where the Earth's crust has
been disturbed by uplift and erosion.
Here, the clay can be found at the surface or just below. It's often
unearthed by construction of roads, buildings and homes.
That's because the uplift that created the Rocky Mountains pushed layers
of prehistoric rock to the surface, especially in places such as Garden of
the Gods and the Pulpit Rock area of the Austin Bluffs Open Space.
The Springs' topography gives scientists access to rock as deep as the
Pierre Shale formation, which dates to 70 million years ago, and Fox
Hills, a layer of ancient beach deposits from a time when Colorado was
covered by an ocean.
In recent years, Johnson's team discovered the clay in an outcropping
east of Kiowa in Elbert County.
"We actually found the layer where the dinosaurs went extinct," said Beth
Ellis, project manager of Johnson's team. "You could put your finger on
it. It was really cool."