There Are Probably Bits Of Dinosaur On The Moon
In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon. But he wasn’t the first Earth-dweller to make it up to the lunar surface – that achievement was made some sixty-six million years earlier.
That’s right, long before humans were even a thing down here on Earth, dinosaurs were on the moon.
Or, at least, bits of them were.
Whereas the best and brightest minds of the 20th century spent decades developing the technology necessary to get astronauts onto the moon and back home safely, the dinosaurs ended up there without really knowing anything about it, by catching a ride on debris from the very same asteroid that wiped them out on Earth.
During the mass extinction event known as the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction, remains of the dinosaurs were catapulted into space, and according to scientists, it’s highly likely that their fossils remain on the moon to this day.
For some people this will be pretty old news, but for plenty of people on Twitter, it has come as a bit of a bombshell.
Discussions about dinosaurs on the moon went viral the other day after blogger Matt Austin posted an extract from The Ends of the World by Peter Brannen. In the book, Brannen vividly describes the oblivion caused by the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, including one bit of information that caught people’s attention.
The extract reads:
…the rock had punched a hole of outer space vacuum in the atmosphere. As the heavens rushed in to close this hole, enormous volumes of earth were expelled into and beyond – all within a second or two of impact.
‘So there’s probably little bits of dinosaur on the moon?’ I asked.
Dinosaur remains getting flung into outer space and ending up on the moon seems pretty wild, but it’s really just a matter of physics. A big enough impact can cause debris ejected by an asteroid to achieve what’s known as ‘escape velocity’ – speeds higher than 11.2km per second – essentially propelling it out of our planet’s orbit. Lots of this debris ends up falling back to Earth, but some of it keeps going, ending up on the moon, or even on Mars.
According to IFL Science, at least 298 meteorites discovered on Earth ended up here thanks to this phenomenon, as debris from collisions on Mars, while several of the moons in our solar system are thought to have been created as a result of similarly ferocious impacts.
So the next time you look up at the moon, remember, there’s probably a chunk of T-Rex looking right back at you.
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