Some 65 million years ago, a rock from outer space slammed into Earth, wreaking havoc on life in its wake and leaving a large crater on our planet’s surface.
No, it’s not the one you’re thinking of.
Boltysh crater, a 15-mile-wide formation in central Ukraine, may not be as famous as the Chicxulub crater under the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, which is directly implicated in the death of the dinosaurs and many other species about 66 million years ago. Nevertheless, Boltysh has long led to debate among scientists. Some have suggested that the crater, which is buried under more than 1,000 feet of sediment, could have formed before or after the Chicxulub event, making its role in this cataclysmic period unclear.
Now, a team led by Annemarie Pickersgill, a research associate at the University of Glasgow, estimates that Boltysh formed about 650,000 years after the Chicxulub catastrophe. The refined age has implications for understanding how Boltysh affected this tumultuous time, and can shed light on our own era of sudden climate change. [Continue reading…]