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October 19 2013

How Many Mega Impacts Have Whacked Earth?


If you enjoy leaves turning, pumpkin patches and other rites of autumn, thank the giant impact event early in Earth's history which knocked our planet's axis off kilter, creating the seasons we that know and love today. But was there just one planet-tilting impact?

University of Western Ontario geologist Grant Young thinks there were two, separated by billions of years. He has been studying rocks from the Ediacaran Period, 540 to 635 million years ago and says he sees signs of massive changes to Earth's seasons and climate that can best be explained by a axis-shifting collision of a small planetary body into the ocean about 570 million years ago.

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