The effort to drill into the Chicxulub Crater off the coast of Mexico has been declared an outstanding success.
A UK/US-led team has spent the past seven weeks coring into the deep bowl cut out of the Earth’s surface 66 million years ago by the asteroid that hastened the end of the dinosaurs.
Rocks nearly 1,300m below the Gulf seafloor have been pulled up.
The samples are expected to reveal new insights on the scale of the impact and its environmental effects.
Inspecting core samples (sedimentary & impact breccia – which is a hybrid, including granite). The project’s two lead scientists, Professor Joanna Morgan from Imperial College London and Dr Sean Gulick from the University of Texas at Austin. Credit: Max Alexander/B612/Asteroid Day
The operations manager on the project, Dave Smith, said drilling would likely end at midnight on Wednesday.
“The core recovery, we’re all really chuffed about – the almost 100% core recovery and the quality of the cores we’ve been getting up. “It’s been a remarkable success. We’ve got deeper than I thought we might do,” the British Geological Survey man said.