Asteroid WARNING: Earth-bound collisions are now MORE common than when dinosaurs roamed

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Some 66 million years ago, a huge asteroid smashed into Mexico, essentially signaling the beginning of the end for the dinosaurs. While that moment is considered one of the most significant in Earth’s history, scientists believe we are more prone to asteroid strikes now. A study has shown that over the last 250 million years, the rate of asteroids colliding with Earth has steadily increased.

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The research states that this may be because of large collisions in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter around 300 million years ago.

As a result, space rocks were blasted out into the solar system and pushed and shoved by gravity of planets and the sun in our galactic neighborhood.

One collision would have led to another in the asteroid belt in a domino effect, meaning there would be more debris and increased chance of space rocks hitting our planet.

Study co-author Dr. Thomas Gernon, an Associate Professor in Earth Science at the University of Southampton, said: "It's perhaps fair to say it was a date with destiny for the dinosaurs - their downfall was somewhat inevitable given the surge of large space rocks colliding with Earth.”

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Earth-bound collisions are now MORE common than when dinosaurs roamed (Image: GETTY)

Co-author Dr. Rebecca Ghent, of the University of Toronto in Canada, said: "The relative rarity of large craters on Earth older than 290 million years and younger than 650 million years is not because we lost the craters, but because the impact rate during that time was lower than it is now.

"The findings may also have implications for the history of life on Earth, which is punctuated by extinction events and rapid evolution of new species.

"Though the forces driving these events are complicated and may include other geologic causes, such as large volcanic eruptions, combined with biological factors, asteroid impacts have surely played a role in this ongoing saga.

"The question is whether the predicted change in asteroid impacts can be directly linked to events that occurred long ago on Earth.”

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An asteroid impact marked the beginning of the end for dinosaurs (Image: GETTY)

The team found that asteroid strikes on the Earth and moon are now almost three times higher than they were at the end of the Paleozoic era – some 245 million years ago.

Lead author Dr. Sara Mazrouei, also of the University of Toronto, added: "Our research provides evidence for a dramatic change in the rate of asteroid impacts on both Earth and the Moon that occurred around the end of the Paleozoic era.

”The implication is that since that time we have been in a period of relatively high rate of asteroid impacts that is 2.6 times higher than it was prior to 290 million years ago."

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