In DepthPlanetary Science

Scientists to drill into dinosaur-killing blast

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Science  04 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6277, pp. 1015-1016
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6277.1015

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This month, from a drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists will try to sink a diamond-tipped bit into the heart of Chicxulub crater—the buried remnant of the asteroid impact 66 million years ago that killed off the dinosaurs and most other life on Earth. They hope to retrieve rock cores bearing clues to how life returned in the wake of the cataclysm. By drilling into a circular ridge inside the 180-kilometer-wide crater rim, researchers also hope to nail down the processes that form "peak rings": hallmarks of the largest impact craters, which planetary scientists have seen elsewhere in the solar system but which erosion has erased from other big craters on Earth.