A new research paper published in Nature journal suggests the asteroid that formed the 66 Ma Chicxulub crater struck earth at just the right angle to create maximum damage. The asteroid’s trajectory was determined by studying “asymmetries int he subsurface structure of the Chicxulub crater” and 3D simulations.
According to researchers, the impact direction and angle to the target plane produced a profound effect on Earth’s environment, including the death of most dinosaurs. The angle of impact was determined to be steeply-inclined, about 45-60 degrees to horizontal. The asteroid was determined to have traveled from the northeast. Researchers noted:
“A steeply-inclined impact produces a nearly symmetric distribution of ejected rock and releases more climate-changing gases per impactor mass than either a very shallow or near-vertical impact.”