Comet that could've wiped mankind | india | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
May 23, 2017-Tuesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Comet that could've wiped mankind

A photograph taken in 1883 was heralded as the first photographic evidence of UFOs. But now scientists believe it could be a massive comet that came close to hitting the earth with the same force which killed the dinosaurs. PIC INSIDE

india Updated: Oct 18, 2011 12:38 IST

A photograph taken in 1883 was heralded as the first photographic evidence of UFOs. But now scientists believe it could be a massive comet that came close to hitting the earth with the same force as that which killed the dinosaurs, the Daily Mail reported.



Mexican astronomer Jose Banilla took the image, which appears to show something passing in front of the moon, on August 12 1883.



Mexican scientists believe this photograph, taken in 1883, shows a comet that came close to hitting the earth

When it was released publicly in 1885 in the magazine L’Astronomie it was dubbed the first photo of a UFO. Now, a new study by the Univeridad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico suggested that it was a comet in the process of breaking up.



Scientists believe that the ‘fuzzy’ object with a dark trail looks like a comet, according to Universe Today.



Using the time that it took the object to cross the Sun, which was a third to a full second according to Bonilla, experts have calculated that the object would be at most 8,000km away.



Bonilla's photograph was taken just before the annual Perseid meteor shower (pictured) - but 1883's shower was no brighter than usual

And as well as being shockingly close to earth, the scientists believe that the comet could have had the same mass as the object that wiped out the dinosaurs.



The study authors believe that at the top end of their estimates it would be the same size as Mars’ moon Deimos.