(SCIENCE) ASTEROID FALLEN FROM HEAVEN
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Morning star, son of the dawn ! how art thou cut down to the ground, (Isaiah 14:12)
Scientists may have a rock-solid answer on how the legions of dinosaurs that once ruled the earth, but now they are focused on determining what happened to the bits of rock that were cast off into space as a result.
And bits of rock is most definitely an undersell: researchers estimate that billions of tons of rocks and water were shot into space when the massive asteroid hit the earth.
The saga began approximately 65 million years ago when a trillion ton asteroid, which is thought to have measured in with a 10km diameter, came crashing down to earth.
How far did they go? The habitable zone around Earth (top center) is far less than that of one point, called the Gliese 581, that particles of the asteroid may have reached
That fatal day, called the Chicxulub crater event, was much more widespread than initially explained.
The immediate effects included mega-tsunamis and global wildfires leading to the extinction of all land-based life on the planet.
The often-ignored effects were the shower of billions of tons of life-bearing 'mini' asteroids that were spread throughout the galaxy after spewing off Earth.
Researchers out of Kyoto Sangyo University have speculated on the possible whereabouts of these key rocks.
Their studies are not being done simply to answer centuries-old curiosities, but they have true scientific value because these rocks could possibly sustain life if they have been able to retain water during their significant space travels.
Researcher Tetsuya Hara and his team focused their research on the portions of rocks that could have landed in areas of the galaxy that would be condusive for life to prosper.
Possibilities: Scientists believe that the Jovian moon Europa (left) and the Saturnian moon Enceladus (right) have conditions that could be condusive to continuing life on the asteroid particles if they made it there