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01 November

South African Republic Found the Traces of an Ancient Space Disaster

South African Republic Found the Traces of an Ancient Space Disaster

Scientists from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg found the proof of collision of a meteorite or an asteroid with Earth which took place about 13 thousand years ago. This space disaster resulted in climate change and extinction of many animal species, a tvbrics.com correspondent reports with the reference to phys.org

Earlier, other scientists made a hypothesis about a meteorite or an asteroid which fell on Earth and affected the life of the whole planet, not just of the place where the collision happened. Therefore, it is difficult to define in which part of the world a heavenly object fell. For example, Greenland was one of the assumed places.

According to the Johannesburg researchers, they managed to find material evidences of falling of a celestial body on Earth in the South African province of Limpopo.

They assumed that the high impact had to leave a mark. They conducted the researches in the region called Wonderkrater, famous for its platinum deposits. And meteorites are usually rich in platinum.

Scientists studied ancient layers, paying special attention to a 12-13-thousand-year-old layer. Their analysis showed that it was the exact time the climate changed – the average air temperature in the region decreased considerably. At the same time, rich reserves of platinum emerged there. Researchers consider it was no coincidence. According to them, the meteorite impact on the surface of the Earth provoked large-scale dispersion of platinum-saturated dust. A huge cloud formed, which blocked sun beams and caused global cooling.

"Our finding at least partially supports the highly controversial hypothesis", says professor Francis Thackeray, the head of the group of scientists. "We seriously need to explore the view that an asteroid impact somewhere on earth may have caused climate change on a global scale, and contributed to some extent to the process of extinctions of large animals at the end of the Pleistocene, after the last Ice Age."


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