Dark Matter ‘Disc’ May Have Killed the Dinosaurs

PIC: Nina Zeretsky/National Science Foundation (PD)

PIC: Nina Zeretsky/National Science Foundation (PD)

As if blazing comets pounding into the earth and wiping out giant lizard monsters isn’t metal enough, now some scientists are speculating that “dark matter” may have played a role in the great dinosaur die-off. The scientists theorize that as our solar system circles around the center of our galaxy it might pass through a dark matter “disc” every 35 million years. The disc might send comets flying our way. Me? I think I’ll call it the Loc-Nar theory of mass extinction.

Via New Scientist:

Its name has always made it sound ominous – and now dark matter could have a menacing role in Earth’s history. A recent explanation for the identity of the mysterious stuff leads to a scenario in which it could be to blame for the extinctions of dinosaurs, or at least send a few extra comets shooting our way.

Although the sequence of events connecting dark matter to dinosaurs, or even comets, is still pretty tenuous, it is intriguing because it brings together two big open questions: the identity of dark matter and whether there is a pattern to comet strikes on Earth.

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  • drokhole

    Interesting that the time-frame (when doubled) matches up with findings from two other separate teams of researchers (saying nothing of dark matter being the cause, though):

    Mass extinction comes every 62 million years, UC physicists discover
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Mass-extinction-comes-every-62-million-years-UC-2693228.php

    The Earth might have a “pulse” that causes extinctions every 60 million years
    http://io9.com/5887406/the-earth-might-have-a-pulse-that-causes-extinctions-every-60-million-years

  • BuzzCoastin

    to the universe
    the earth is a May fly
    to the earth
    wee are like May flies

  • InfvoCuernos

    “Stern!”
    Seems pretty tenuous to me. Beside the times not matching with the geological evidence, it seems like they are looking for a reason for shit to hit the Earth. Shit hits the Earth all the time.

  • kowalityjesus

    So this is an alternative theory to “nemesis,” the brown dwarf solar partner, as an explanation for periodic gravitational disturbances that send comets from the Oort cloud to the inner solar system.
    I thought for a minute the title was referring to “anti-matter” which would have been mighty fuckin interesting.

  • Mr Grim

    “See, there’s this thing we’ve hypothesized, and we don’t actually know what it is, and we don’t actually know what it does, and when it comes right down to it we don’t actually know for certain that it even exists. Anyway, this thing… it might have killed the dinosaurs.”

    Gee, thanks for that.

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