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"Earth May Have Experienced Dark-Matter Triggered Extinction Events" (Today's Most Popular)

 

 

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"We are fortunate enough to live on a planet that is ideal for the development of complex life," says New York University Biology Professor Michael Rampino. "But the history of the Earth is punctuated by large scale extinction events, some of which we struggle to explain. It may be that dark matter - the nature of which is still unclear but which makes up around a quarter of the universe - holds the answer. As well as being important on the largest scales, dark matter may have a direct influence on life on Earth."

Rampino's model of dark matter interactions with the Earth as it cycles through the Galaxy could have a broad impact on our understanding of the geological and biological development of Earth, as well as other planets within the Galaxy.

He concludes that Earth's infrequent but predictable path around and through our Galaxy's disc may have a direct and significant effect on geological and biological phenomena occurring on Earth. In a new paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, he concludes that movement through dark matter may perturb the orbits of comets and lead to additional heating in the Earth's core, both of which could be connected with mass extinction events.

The Galactic disc is the region of the Milky Way Galaxy where our solar system resides. It is crowded with stars and clouds of gas and dust, and also a concentration of elusive dark matter--small subatomic particles that can be detected only by their gravitational effects.

Previous studies have shown that Earth rotates around the disc-shaped Galaxy once every 250 million years. But the Earth's path around the Galaxy is wavy, with the Sun and planets weaving through the crowded disc approximately every 30 million years. Analyzing the pattern of the Earth's passes through the Galactic disc, Rampino notes that these disc passages seem to correlate with times of comet impacts and mass extinctions of life. The famous comet strike 66 million ago that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs is just one example.

What causes this correlation between Earth's passes through the Galactic disc, and the impacts and extinctions that seem to follow?

While traveling through the disc, the dark matter concentrated there disturbs the pathways of comets typically orbiting far from the Earth in the outer Solar System, Rampino observes. This means that comets that would normally travel at great distances from the Earth instead take unusual paths, causing some of them to collide with the planet.

But even more remarkably, with each dip through the disc, the dark matter can apparently accumulate within the Earth's core. Eventually, the dark matter particles annihilate each other, producing considerable heat. The heat created by the annihilation of dark matter in Earth's core could trigger events such as volcanic eruptions, mountain building, magnetic field reversals, and changes in sea level, which also show peaks every 30 million years. Rampino therefore suggests that astrophysical phenomena derived from the Earth's winding path through the Galactic disc, and the consequent accumulation of dark matter in the planet's interior, can result in dramatic changes in Earth's geological and biological activity.

In the future, he suggests, geologists might incorporate these astrophysical findings in order to better understand events that are now thought to result purely from causes inherent to the Earth. This model, Rampino adds, likewise provides new knowledge of the possible distribution and behaviour of dark matter within the Galaxy.

The Hubble image above is an artist's view of night sky from a hypothetical planet within a young Milky Way-like galaxy 10 billion years ago, the sky are ablaze with star birth.

The Daily Galaxy via New York University

 

 

 

Comments

Must have happened countless times, we are but a slimy bacterial coating on the surface of an insignificant speck of rock and dust circling around a puny yellow star....

Such poetry.

Another recycled article from around 2-3 weeks ago. Hey Daily Galaxy, pay attention to the articles you post/repost on here.

This is silly. Nobody has a clue about what dark matter actually is. Because of this nobody can postulate it is a magic bean that collects in the earth's core to drive up the core's heat.I'm game for allot of speculating but the article may as well be a page from a very poorly written sci-fi channel script that was rejected because it was more implausible than Godzilla meets Mothra!

Dumb.

Ah that old chestnut again dark matter,the magic bullet.this seems to be the get out of jail free card for bb theorists.if in doubt throw a curve ball but make it dark ha ha.

dark matter is supposed to not being able to interact with normal matter...if it could heat the core of planets why other planets have their cores solidified or chilled ? if this matter can heat the core of planets than it`s just another subatomic particle...or we don`t really know what heat is...i mean we can "measure" it but don`t know how to really point at what it is. and i don`t believe particles of that matter can annihilate between themselves, maybe more like interact with normal matter and just adding a little energy to the atoms to increase heat.

It used to be that events that could not be explained with the knowledge base of the time were attributed to 'Divine' intervention. Note: dark matter is the new phrase for 'Divine' intervention. More politically correct for the current mind set.

Not so silly, if our understanding of comets, sunspots and ball lightning could be based on a new electric dark matter black hole. Then early dark matter comets crashing into the earth could originate the flyby anomaly and pioneer anomaly.
see:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/93308747@N05/15553800153/in/photostream

dark matter/energy may not be as elusive as once thought. probably part of a cycle of life at the sub-atomic level or dark mater level. parts once created fill all of the voids in the universe. all of these parts seem to have an electrical charge so they are attracted or repelled by each other. through a natural progression of growth these smallest of parts begin to bond to one another and soon become atomic material or the stuff of atoms but not. somewhere in a celestial furnace under intense heat and pressure dark mater and energy is being produced. through the destruction of atoms being pulled toward the center of a super massive gravity well where the space between all of the mass has been removed and the particles ground to dust and giving off energy thousands of times more powerful than an atomic bomb. giving impetus to the particles created and casting them out through everything. which may be the reason for spacial distortion around objects in space. the dark mater bends the light. even the Earth may be producing some dark mater.

@Loco Godzilla meeting Mothra is more inevitable than implausible...both monsters consist almost exclusively of dark matter.

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