Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features brightly colored sediment swirls along the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
The Yucatan Peninsula was transformed 66 million years ago, when an asteroid or comet about 10 miles wide smashed into Earth.
The catastrophic impact triggered tsunamis, wildfires, and released a giant dust cloud that blocked the Sun and abruptly altered the climate. This collision ultimately killed at least three-fourths of life on Earth, including the dinosaurs.
The impact crater can be found near the town of Chicxulub on the northern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. The Chicxulub crater is very well-preserved.
According to NASA, in the millions of years since the impact, the crater has been buried in thick layers of limestone. When the limestone erodes, the sediments wash out onto the Yucatán Shelf.
The image was captured on October 31, 2021 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory