Darkness caused by dino-killing asteroid snuffed out life on Earth in 9 months

The years following the asteroid impact that wiped out non-avian dinosaurs were dark times — literally. Soot from raging wildfires filled the sky and blocked the sun, directly contributing to the wave of extinctions that followed, new research has found.

After the asteroid struck, around 66 million years ago, the cataclysm extinguished many forms of life instantly. But the impact also caused environmental changes leading to mass extinctions that played out over time. One such extinction trigger may have been the dense clouds of ash and particles that spewed into the atmosphere and spread over the planet, which would have enveloped parts of Earth in darkness that could have persisted for up to two years.