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Reply to Desch et al. (2021) on Breakup of a long-period comet as the origin of the dinosaur extinction

By SpaceRef Editor
June 10, 2021
Filed under , ,

Amir Siraj, Abraham Loeb

We reply to criticisms by Desch et al. (2021) regarding our Scientific Reports paper, Breakup of a long-period comet as the origin of the dinosaur extinction. The background impact rates of main-belt asteroids and long-period comets have been previously dismissed as being too low to explain the Chicxulub impact event. Our work demonstrates that a fraction of long-period comets are tidally disrupted after passing close to the Sun, each producing a collection of smaller fragments that cross the orbit of Earth. This population could increase the impact rate of long-period comets capable of producing Chicxulub impact events by an order of magnitude. This new rate would be consistent with the age of the Chicxulub impact crater. Our results are subject to an uncertainty in the number of fragments produced in the breakup event.

Comments: 5 pages

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:2105.09940 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2105.09940v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Amir SirajĀ 

[v1] Thu, 20 May 2021 17:59:58 UTC (35 KB)

https://arxiv.org/abs/2105.09940

Astrobiology

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