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Space photos of the day: Massive craters

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This shaded relief image of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula shows a subtle, but unmistakable, indication of the Chicxulub impact crater. Most scientists now agree that this impact was the cause of the Cretatious-Tertiary Extinction, the event 65 million years ago that marked the sudden extinction of the dinosaurs as well as the majority of life then on Earth. In this enhanced image the topography has been exaggerated to highlight a trough, the darker green line at the upper left corner. This trough is only about 10 to 15 feet deep and is so subtle that if you walked across it you probably would not notice it.

PHOTO: NASA/JPL/NIMA

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