Comet

Fungi, Feces Show Comet Didn’t Kill Ice Age Mammals?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 22, 2010   View Article

Tiny balls of fungus and feces may disprove the theory that a huge space rock exploded over North America about 12,900 years ago, triggering a thousand-year cold snap, according to a new study.

The ancient temperature drop, called the Younger Dryas, has been well documented in the geologic record, including soil and ice core samples.

The cool-down also coincides with the extinction of mammoths and other Ice Age mammals in North America, and it’s thought to have spurred our hunter-gatherer ancestors in the Middle East to adopt an agricultural lifestyle.

Comet “Shower” Killed Ice Age Mammals?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 7, 2010   View Article

The comet that created the annual Taurid meteor shower was also responsible for snuffing out large mammals in North America 13,000 years ago, a controversial new study says.

The geologic record shows that global temperatures plummeted by as much as 14 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius) just as Earth was thawing out from the last ice age.

This cold snap probably led to the extinction in North America of large animals such as saber-toothed cats and wooly mammoths. But scientists have been unsure what triggered the abrupt change.

10 signs of a rough and tough universe

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: August 12, 2009   View Article

The space rock that recently plowed into Jupiter and gave it a black eye the size of the Pacific Ocean served up a not-so-gentle reminder of the rough and tough side of our universe. Check out this and nine more bouts of violence in outer space

Comet Impacts Triggered Ice Age Extinctions?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 21, 2009   View Article

Rare diamonds found buried on an island near southern California strengthen the controversial idea that comet impacts wiped out huge beasts and an early human culture in North America about 12,900 years ago.

Similar “nanodiamonds” found in sediments across North America were presented earlier this year as proof that space rocks colliding with Earth led to the ancient mass extinction.

Top 10 images of the world at night

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: March 2, 2009   View Article

The night sky is the forgotten half of our environment, says Mike Simmons, the president and founder of Astronomers Without Borders. Simmons, along with coordinator Babak Tafreshi, are producing a project called The World at Night, or TWAN, which aims to remind us of our place in the universe through a series of stunning night sky images, made from familiar landmarks around the world.

“Nanodiamond” Find Supports Comet Impact Extinction Theory

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 5, 2009   View Article

The discovery of tiny “nanodiamonds” supports a controversial theory that a catastrophic bombardment of space rocks altered the course of Earth history.

About 12,900 years ago, Earth was escaping the grips of an ice age when something triggered a sudden refreeze.

Odd Star Sheds Cometlike Tail

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 15, 2007   View Article

The star Mira sheds a cometlike tail of rich material as it streaks through space—something that has never been seen before—astronomers announced today.

Acting sort of like a cosmic Johnny Appleseed, the star is leaving behind carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and other important “seed” elements needed for new stars, planets, and potential life to form.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach