It has been suggested that if the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago had hit the planet 30 seconds later or 30 seconds earlier then the dinosaurs may not have been wiped out, and that asteroid hit would not have caused the worldwide devastation that it did.

That is the claim of a new BBC documentary called The Night the Dinosaurs Died, which was aired on BBC2 in the UK last night at 9pm GMT.

Scientists claimed in that show that is was by pure chance that the asteroid has such the devastating effect it did have on the Earth, for if it has indeed struck 30 seconds sooner, or later then it would have caused much less carnage and damage and there would have been a very good chance that the dinosaurs would have survived.

If that had been the case then us humans may not have gone on to be the dominant species, which is an extraordinary claim but one that is backed up by a lot of scientific data, and as such if you can watch that documentary on a catch up service then make sure you do for it is going to be interesting to watch the data laid out to you!

It was 66 million years ago that the asteroid believe to have wiped out the dinosaurs hit, and it was 24 miles off Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico that it hit and that asteroid left an enormous 111 miles wide and 20 miles deep crater.

However, scientists have been drilling into the carter for quite a while now and have found that the rock in that part of the world was very rich in sulphur compounds.

As such when the asteroid did hit that rock was vaporised and that in turn led to the air being filled with dust much like the type that is released during a volcanic eruption, that then in turn led to the sun being blocked out and as we all know the planet then cooled, and was left below freezing for at least a decade which in turned wiped out most life on Earth.

However, this documentary revealed that is the asteroid which was estimated to have been around nine miles across and was at the time of impact travelling at around 40,000 miles per hour had hit 30 seconds either side of the point in time when it did it could have landed in the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans.

If it had done then it would have been mainly sea water that would have been vaporised which would not have been as devastating to the planet as the asteroid vaporising rock. We do not want to spoil the documentary for you, and as such would recommend that you do tune in via the BBC Catch Up iPlayer service if you can do so!