Around 36 million years ago, an asteroid smashed into what is now the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. New research suggests that, for a brief time, the temperature at the point of impact exceeded 2370C, making it the hottest temperature known to have occurred on Earth.
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Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
Four and a half billion years ago, some dust from a cloud orbiting around a star coalesced into a rocky planet. But unlike most of the dusty balls in our solar system, this one was special -- it was just the right distance away from the star that one day after the surface had cooled, water could exist as a liquid, rather than a solid or gas. The planet's surface eventually fractured into plates that shifted around, becoming continents. All that shifting has rubbed away the details of that ancient Earth. Was the era as hellish as its name "Hadean" implies, or was Earth always a water-rich orb with moving plates?