What did you learn by simulating an asteroid collision that forced dinosaurs to extinction with a supercomputer?

About 66 million years ago, an asteroid with a diameter of 10 to 15 km hit the earth. The scale of this collision is one of the three in the history of the earth, and is thought to have been the cause of the mass extinction of the dinosaurs that were flourishing at that time.

A team of researchers at the Earth College of Earth Sciences at Imperial College London simulated this 66-million-year-old asteroid collision with a supercomputer and found that the ' angle at collision ' determined the fate of the dinosaur.

A steeply-inclined trajectory for the Chicxulub impact | Nature Communications

Supercomputer simulates the impact of the asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs | ZDNet

The simulation focused on understanding as accurately as possible the trajectory and angle of the asteroid that collided about 66 million years ago with the Earth. Considering various collision angles and velocities, the research team conducted a 3D simulation on a supercomputer, and the structure of the Chikshrub crater in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, which is a trace of an actual asteroid collision about 66 million years ago Compared with.

The simulation was done on a supercomputer owned by the

University of Leicester . This supercomputer is 'HPE Apollo 6000 Gen 10' equipped with Intel's Skylake generation / 14,000 cores in total, and it seems that it was also supported by a server with 6 TB of memory at the time of simulation.

It seems that the simulation up to now was performed two-dimensionally due to the limitation of calculation, but in this survey, nearly 300 3D simulations were performed, and the “angle of asteroid collision” that has not been noticed so far Said the research team.

As a result, it was revealed that the asteroid that collided about 66 million years ago collided with the surface of the earth at an angle of about 60 degrees. Also, the energy at the time of the collision was about 1 billion atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima. The blown-off rocks and deposits on the ground block sunlight and contain billions of tons of sulfur, which significantly changes atmospheric components and is thought to have had a major impact on climate change.

It also examined how the craters were raised after the collision. According to the simulation, 20 seconds after the collision, a hole with a radius of 40 km and a depth of 30 km was pierced on the surface of the ground, but after about 3 minutes the surface rose and formed a mountain, and 5 minutes after the collision the crater had a depth of 30 km. The result is that the holes are filled.

Previous studies have believed that an asteroid that collided approximately 66 million years ago had a near-perpendicular angle with the surface of the earth. However, according to the research team, it is more deadly for the creatures on the surface to enter at about 60 degrees than to enter the asteroid at an angle close to the vertical to the surface. The dinosaurs may have survived extinction if they were entering at a near vertical angle, the research team said.

The research team is using the same supercomputer, this time it seems that they are embarking on research to simulate the process of producing stars from particles in gas clouds .

in Science, Posted by log1i_yk