Huge space rock rattled Earth 3 billion years ago | Science News



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Huge space rock rattled Earth 3 billion years ago

The size of the asteroid that may have killed the dinosaurs (Chicxulub) and even Mount Everest look tiny compared to a space rock that may have slammed into Earth 3.26 billion years ago. 

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An asteroid almost as wide as Rhode Island may have plowed into Earth 3.26 billion years ago, leaving its mark in South Africa’s Barberton greenstone belt.

Hitting the planet at a speed of 20 kilometers per second, the 37- to 58-kilometer-wide space rock could have jolted Earth with the force of a magnitude 10.8 earthquake and set off tsunamis thousands of meters deep, researchers report in a paper accepted for publication in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems.

It is the first time scientists have been able to calculate the size of the impact and its effect on Earth.

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