Feeds

Dinosaur-murdering space boulder family found innocent

NASA discovers alibi for the Baptistinas

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The hunt for the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs is back on, after a NASA mission indicated that the current suspected space rock is not the likely culprit.

A study in 2007, which used visible-light data from ground-based telescopes, had suggested that a fragment of a huge ancient asteroid known as Baptistina had been the one to plunge to Earth and annihilate the ancient reptiles. But NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has figured out that Baptistina broke up just 80 million years ago, which doesn't give the remnants enough time to make it to Earth and plunge the dinos into extinction 65 million years ago.

"The original calculations with visible light estimated the size and reflectivity of the Baptistina family members, leading to estimates of their age, but we now know those estimates were off. With infrared light, WISE was able to get a more accurate estimate, which throws the timing of the Baptistina theory into question," said Lindley Johnson, program executive for the Near Earth Object Observation Program at NASA.

Many scientists believe that dinosaurs – which as a group comprised over 1,000 species – were wiped out along with several other species when a massive asteroid hit Earth, throwing dust clouds and smoke from forest fires up into the sky, thereby darkening and cooling the planet. According to this theory, the resulting climate change affected the growth of plants at the bottom of the dinosaurs' food chain, leading to the eventual demise of the monsters.

Evidence to support this claim includes a huge crater in the Gulf of Mexico and layers of rare minerals in the fossil record, which are rare in the Earth's crust but often found in meteorites. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.