New Theory Suggests Dinosaur-Killing Impact Came From Edge Of Solar System

But new research out of Harvard University theorizes that the Armageddon causing object came from much farther out than originally believed.

According to this new theory, the devastation came not from a relatively nearby asteroid, but from a sort of long-distance comet that came from the edge of the solar system, in an area known as the Oort cloud.

At that point, according to Amir Siraj, a Harvard student who co-authored the paper with Professor Avi Loeb, "Jupiter acts as a kind of pinball machine."

Some of the comet's fragments entered Earth's orbit, and one — 50 miles across, roughly the size of Boston — slammed into the coast of Mexico.

"I believe their work has several intrinsic problems," Bill Bottke, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., told The New York Times .

For instance, Bottke says, the proposed model overestimates how frequently long-period comets actually get pulled apart by the sun.

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