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101 votes
Accepted

Could the dinosaurs have seen the asteroid that killed them?

The answer is yes; for a few nights prior to the impact (assuming they had eyes with a similar sensitivity to our own and could look up!). It could be a bit longer than this if the body was larger ...
ProfRob's user avatar
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32 votes

How early could we detect an asteroid the size of the one that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs?

It could be as little notice as a few days. There is a large variation in the amount of warning we would have before an asteroid strike similar in energy to Chicxulub. Let’s examine the case in which ...
Connor Garcia's user avatar
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21 votes
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Which kind of celestial body killed dinosaurs?

Definitions: A meteoroid is a celestial object larger than an grain of dust and smaller than 1 meter in diameter. An asteroid is a celestial object larger than 1 meter in diameter. A meteor is a ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
17 votes

How early could we detect an asteroid the size of the one that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs?

There are two classes of object. One is "asteroids" and the other is "comets". Asteroids orbit in fat ellipses, mostly between Mars and Jupiter, but some come closer and a few can ...
James K's user avatar
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16 votes
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How loud was the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs?

Some estimates which I found worth sharing: For fun, I searched for Chixculub TNT equivalent and e.g. ScienceDaily claims The energy released by the impact that ...
B--rian's user avatar
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15 votes
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How many iridium layers do we know, besides the K-Pg one (the dinosaur killer "smoking gun")?

There are other iridium anomalies, particularly the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary (D-C boundary), about 350 Ma ago. The K-Pg boundary is only 66 Ma old. Just because there is an iridium anomaly ...
Fred's user avatar
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13 votes

Could the dinosaurs have seen the asteroid that killed them?

A carbonaceous condrite has the same reflectivity as the moon at around 7-13%. If there was ice, if the tail was 10 times smaller than Hale-Bopp, it would have auspiciously covered half of the sky. ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
  • 4,268
12 votes

How early could we detect an asteroid the size of the one that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs?

An object's absolute magnitude (how bright it would appear at full phase, 1 au from both Earth and Sun) is related to its size and easier to determine. A ~1 km asteroid has absolute magnitude H ≈ 17....
Mike G's user avatar
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10 votes

Which kind of celestial body killed dinosaurs?

Based on the Wikipedia article: There is broad consensus that the Chicxulub impactor was an asteroid with a carbonaceous chondrite composition, rather than a comet. And it cited a paper which ...
Nilay Ghosh's user avatar
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9 votes

Which kind of celestial body killed dinosaurs?

Your question asks "Which kind of celestial body" Meteorites and Meteors are not celestial bodies. Meteorites are not celestial, they are a type of stone that is sometimes found on Earth. ...
James K's user avatar
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9 votes
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What would happen if Venus was hit by a Chicxulub-like meteor?

Question: Would the dense atmosphere and high surface pressure and temperature lead to a different result compared to what happened here on Earth? Short Answer: No. There will not be any significant ...
Kavin Ishwaran's user avatar
8 votes

Time of day of the K-Pg asteroid impact?

Various graphs illustrate the times and areas of the globe where meteorites are more likely to hit. That's the best scientific indicator regarding daytime: it was significantly more likely to occur ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
  • 4,268
6 votes

Which kind of celestial body killed dinosaurs?

Both are correct. Yet talking of a meteoroid (or meteorite once on earth) is not very helpful in this context as that does not say anything about the object other than 'falling from space onto Earth'. ...
planetmaker's user avatar
  • 19.9k
6 votes

Time of day of the K-Pg asteroid impact?

Given that the uncertainty in deltaT, the difference between the uniform dynamical time needed to predict the positions of the Sun and the Moon and civil (solar) time was already 4.5 hours by year -...
astrosnapper's user avatar
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4 votes

How early could we detect an asteroid the size of the one that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs?

The minimum diameter of the dinosaur-killing impactor is 11 km (according to the wikipedia page on the Chicxulub impact) . Let's use that as our basis for calculation. Larger objects could be seen ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 155k
3 votes

How early could we detect an asteroid the size of the one that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs?

There are a few other aspects to this question. As already mentioned, space is big and the Earth is a relatively small moving target. The Earth's orbital speed is around 29.8 km/s, thus it covers a ...
PM 2Ring's user avatar
  • 15k

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