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Re: Source of KT asteroid pdf

If both inner asteroid belt and Kuiper belt collisions produced impactor candidates, I suppose given the vastly greater distances and thus volume of space and much smaller target area (Earth) in that larger volume of space, there is a higher likelihood that an object from the inner belt would strike our planet.


Adam wrote:
Hi Dan

Curiously the dwarf planet 2003 EL61 shows signs of a major collision in the last 100 million years. Its surface, and its collision debris family, all show relatively fresh ice - they're in the Kuiper Belt and over the billennia cosmic-rays should change the colour of their water/methane ices to pinkish. Thus something smashed into the parent body, spun off a moon and a bunch of cometoids, and who knows what else sometime in the Cretaceous...


...if a piece slammed into Earth I wouldn't be surprised. The remnant of the parent body has a football like shape due to its very high spin, so something smacked it very hard. And something else had to careen across the Kuiper Belt to hit it in the first place.


PS Isn't there stronger evidence for volcanism playing a role in the K/T extinction now? I remember a science story about the timing of a flood basalt province or some such.

Dan Chure wrote:


The pdf for this paper is available at


Supplemental info is available from the Nature website.