Deep in the Sahara Desert, there lies a giant pool of silica glass. Scientists have been studying it for many years, and recently, they discovered something absolutely breathtaking; for the first time in history, they’ve found positive proof that an apocalyptic fiery comet struck earth 28 million years ago. Prior to the discovery, researchers speculated that a giant comet had been the reason for the extinction of dinosaurs and other destructive events, but until recently, they had never uncovered any definite proof of an earthly comet strike.
That bed of silica glass has yielded one of the most important scientific discoveries for astronomists ever found. Previously, yellow glass from the pool of silica was used to fashion a gem and used in a pin worn by Tutankhamen, but researchers are far less excited about King Tut’s jewelry than they are about finding proof positive of a comet strike.
Egyptian Geologist Uncover a Spectacular Find-A Comet’s Nucleus
An Egyptian geologist uncovered the spectacular find. At first, it looked just like a little black rock or pebble, but after studying the specimen, scientists learned that it was a remnant of a fiery comet strike that rained huge swaths of fire upon the earth and was responsible for the death of many creatures living upon our planet at that time. The find is significant because comet material has never before been recovered from earth, only from the skies. Scientist David Block explained, “Comets always visit our skies — they’re these dirty snowballs of ice mixed with dust — but never before in history has material from a comet ever been found on Earth.”
A beautiful comet with a beautiful name
The comet has been named after a famous Egyptian female mathematician from Alexandria- Hypatia. She was a renowed astronomer and philosopher. Hypatia was a professor of astronomy and was described by the philosopher Socrates Scholasticus:
There was a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions…Neither did she feel abashed in going to an assembly of men. For all men on account of her extraordinary dignity and virtue admired her the more.
Knowing that Hypatia was a woman of “firsts” makes it apparent that her name suits this comet perfectly since it is the first real proof scientists have found of a comet making contact with earth.
Major Discovery to be Published in Science Journal
Scientists spent years doing chemical tests on the tiny comet nucleus to determine that is was, in fact, a comet and not the typical meteorite material they were used to seeing. This incredible discovery will be published soon in the journal Earth and Planetary science letter. A press release about the publication said:
The team’s research will be published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letter and was conducted by a collaboration of geoscientists, physicists and astronomers including Block, lead author Professor Jan Kramers of the University of Johannesburg, Dr Marco Andreoli of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, and Chris Harris of the University of Cape Town.
Proof has been found that an apocalyptic fiery comet struck Earth 28 million years ago. Now, researchers hope it will help them uncover some of the deepest mysteries about how our universe was formed.
By: Rebecca Savastio