At http://phys.org/print343503264.html … the question is asked – does dark matter cause mass extinctions and geological upheavals? What might we make of that. Well, it is a direct statement that recognises catastrophism as a fact of the planetary past. In that way it is interesting as not so long ago they may have avoided catastrophism altogether and stuck fast to the uniformitarian model in that nothing has happened in the past that does not happen in the present.
New York University's Michael Rampino claims that Earth's slow but predictable path around and through our galaxy's disc may have a direct and significant effect on geological and biological phenomena – which we know has occurred on the Earth. In essence, this is not a lot different to the idea behind the Clube and Napier theory and this is that the orbit of our solar system around the galaxy disc occassionally dislodges clouds of comets – and these were responsible for the periodic catastrophism. Rampino, in contrast, brings in dark matter particles, whatever they may be, to do the deadly chore. Clube and Napier used a more solid sort of object – comets. Rampino's theory relies on the assumption that dark matter exists.
At http://phys.org/print343572032.html … we are told 'astrophysical jets' driven by the Sun dominate the solar system. It flys out charged particles in a stream of plasma known as the solar wind. The solar wind goes on to form a bubble extending far outside the solar system – which is known as the heliosphere. For years scientists thought in terms of the heliosphere having a shape somewhat like a comet – with a long tail. New research and modelling suggests the Sun's magnetic field controls the shape of the heliosphere much more tightly than imagined.
In the new model the heliosphere looks a bit like a giant caterpillar or pupae, with two ends streaming behind it.
See also http://phys.org/print343640659.html … the effects of other planets on climate.