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The Dark Matter and the Dinosaur Demise

17 June 2014

Dark matter meets catastrophism – courtesy of Harvard University researchers. At http://phys.org/print322123461.html … a new theory is being aired and it involves a disc of dark matter at the heart of our galaxy – and presumably every galaxy. A group of Harvard researchers from the physics department have put forward a proposal, a gestating hypothesis, that began with the object that struck the Earth and wiped out three quarters of all species in the dinosaur era. It seeks an answer – where did this object originate.

Rather than the odd rogue comet or asteroid popping up every now and again, the thinking went lateral in the sense they wanted to know what it was that set such an object in motion – outside its presumed orbit on which it had happily been riding for millions and millions of years. What nudged the orbit of the object. Clube and Napier of course had a theory to account for periodic upsets in the Oort Cloud – but it remains a theoretical idea on the fringe of astronomy. It will be interesting how the physicisits get on with their mechanism, which postulates dark matter in some way dislodging the object, again from the Oort Cloud. Has anyone been able to see the Oort Cloud?

The hypothesis suggests that every 35 million years, or so, the disc of dark matter disrupts the haven of comets and asteroids and sends some of them into orbits that take them into the inner solar system – on potentially catastrophic orbits. In addition, to add some bite, they are suggesting the disc of dark matter is actually seeding black holes, a more famous occupant of the heart of galaxies.

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