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At first, not many scientists agreed with the Alvarezes’ theory. Then, in 1990, geologists looking for oil off Mexico’s coast discovered a huge impact crater. It was buried under a mile of limestone. Underground imaging equipment showed that the crater fit the Alvarezes’ theory. It is exactly the right size and formed at exactly the right time to support their idea. | Meteors and Moon Rocks | Kids Discover

At first, not many scientists agreed with the Alvarezes’ theory. Then, in 1990, geologists looking for oil off Mexico’s coast discovered a huge impact crater. It was buried under a mile of limestone. Underground imaging equipment showed that the crater fit the Alvarezes’ theory. It is exactly the right size and formed at exactly the right time to support their idea. | Meteors and Moon Rocks | Kids Discover

In 1980, geologists Luis (right) and Walter Alvarez noticed a layer of clay between layers of limestone. It was a centimeter thick. Below it were fossils from the age of dinosaurs. Right above it, there were almost no fossils at all. The clay contained iridium, an element that’s common in meteorites but not on Earth. This led the Alvarezes to believe a comet or asteroid had hit Earth, and its impact had killed off the dinosaurs. | Meteors and Moon Rocks | Kids Discover

In 1980, geologists Luis (right) and Walter Alvarez noticed a layer of clay between layers of limestone. It was a centimeter thick. Below it were fossils from the age of dinosaurs. Right above it, there were almost no fossils at all. The clay contained iridium, an element that’s common in meteorites but not on Earth. This led the Alvarezes to believe a comet or asteroid had hit Earth, and its impact had killed off the dinosaurs. | Meteors and Moon Rocks | Kids Discover

Earth would have craters just like the Moon’s if it didn’t have an atmosphere. That layer of gases allows Earth to have climate and weather. Rain and wind erode old craters. Plants and water cover them up, and natural disasters cause changes. Canyon Diablo in Arizona (above) is a rare case of a giant impact crater that has survived pretty much intact. A 15,000-ton meteorite crashed there about 50,000 years ago. | Meteors and Moon Rocks | Kids Discover

Earth would have craters just like the Moon’s if it didn’t have an atmosphere. That layer of gases allows Earth to have climate and weather. Rain and wind erode old craters. Plants and water cover them up, and natural disasters cause changes. Canyon Diablo in Arizona (above) is a rare case of a giant impact crater that has survived pretty much intact. A 15,000-ton meteorite crashed there about 50,000 years ago. | Meteors and Moon Rocks | Kids Discover

Could another large object hit Earth? In 1908, a rocky object exploded in Western Siberia with the force of several nuclear bombs. No one was killed in that sparsely settled place. But the explosion leveled trees in an area the size of New York City. | Meteors and Moon Rocks | Kids Discover

Could another large object hit Earth? In 1908, a rocky object exploded in Western Siberia with the force of several nuclear bombs. No one was killed in that sparsely settled place. But the explosion leveled trees in an area the size of New York City. | Meteors and Moon Rocks | Kids Discover

Fragments found in the Moon’s “orange soil” by Apollo 17 | Meteors and Moon Rocks | Kids Discover

Fragments found in the Moon’s “orange soil” by Apollo 17 | Meteors and Moon Rocks | Kids Discover

Microphotograph of rock collected from Apollo 12 | Meteors and Moon Rocks | Kids Discover

Microphotograph of rock collected from Apollo 12 | Meteors and Moon Rocks | Kids Discover

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