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billion Hiroshima’s. It’s a major revelation. But the truly incredible thing about this asteroid strike was that it changed the face of our planet within seconds. And now we know that, we can do something that has never been done before. ‘Create a simulation of exactly how the impact affected Earth ‘and the dinosaurs.’ Here’s what the new results tell us about those crucial initial minutes after the asteroid struck. The asteroid, nine miles wide, smashes into the Yucatan at ,mph… vaporizing instantly. The impact makes a hole in the earth miles deep and miles across, turning the surrounding sea to steam and shattering the earth below. Rock from deep in the Earth’s crust then rises miles into the air, forming a tower higher than the Himalayas that collapses to form a strange ring of peaks that exists today. All this in the first ten minutes. What did this mean for the dinosaurs? Well, it started an unstoppable and devastating chain of events. First, like an enormous nuclear explosion, a radiation fireball , degrees centigrade spreads out from the impact zone. This searing hot sphere fries everything within a -mile radius in an instant. The truly global devastation had its roots not in the blast, but in the huge vapor plume that rose out of the crater and through the atmosphere. A red-hot cloud of vaporized asteroid and rock, expanding upwards miles, spreading rapidly outwards to fill the planet’s atmosphere. Back then, faraway New Jersey was covered in ocean. And it too would soon feel the effects of the impact. , miles from the site of the impact, the fireball wouldn’t have been visible. That blazing, towering, swirling cloud would’ve been just over the horizon, but we might have seen a faint glow. The animals here were safe from the direct radiation. Two-and-a-half hours later, like the sound of heavy traffic in the distance, the shock wave, now a sound wave, arrived. Wind starts to whip up, growing stronger and stronger until we’re facing into hurricane-force winds. The blast wave from the impact surged across the Earth at enormous speed. Its effects would have been short-lived, but those few traumatic hours left an indelible impression in the earth’s geological record. These are beads of molten rock that rained down from the skies and as they cool, they become glass. And if you melt rock and you cool it fast, it doesn’t have a chance to turn back into rock, it forms glass. Glass called spherules. And we find these little spherules right here in this mass death assemblage. What produces the kind of energy and heat needed to form these spherules, then? Well, when you have an asteroid impact, it melts the rock and it flies up through the atmosphere and these bits of molten rock rain down on the planet. ‘These -million-year-old droplets of molten rock show that ‘debris was falling on landscapes ‘far away from the impact zone itself.’ Protected by the water, marine creatures like the mosasaurs may have been able to survive these immediate events. But for the dinosaurs on land, with nowhere to hide, this was the beginning of the end.