- Feb 24, 2016
More At: https://www.universetoday.com/143450/a-distant-asteroid-collision-gave-earthly-biodiversity-an-ancient-boost/About 466 million years ago, there was an asteroid collision in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The collision caused the breakup of a major asteroid, creating a shower of dust throughout the inner Solar System. That event is called the Ordovician Meteor Event, and its dust caused an ice age here on Earth.
That ice age contributed to an enormous boost in biodiversity on ancient Earth.
In recent decades, scientists have uncovered evidence showing how different events in space shaped life on Earth. The most well-known of these is the Chicxulub impact that brought the reign of the dinosaurs to an end some 66 million years ago. But there have been other events in space that affected life on Earth, including a supernova that exploded about 2.6 million years ago that may have wiped out large ocean animals, and another supernova that exploded about 41,000 years ago and that may have helped wipe out the mammoths.
But in this case, the asteroid-dust ice age may have helped life on Earth rather than hindered it.