Does dark matter cause mass extinctions and geologic events on Earth?

July 10th, 2015 Comments Off on Does dark matter cause mass extinctions and geologic events on Earth?

earth's orbit in milky wayThe galactic disk 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 disk-shaped galaxy once every 250 million years. But Earth’s path around the galaxy is wavy, with the Sun and planets weaving through the crowded disk approximately every 30 million years. Analyzing the pattern of Earth’s passes through the galactic disk, these disk passages seem to correlate with times of comet impacts and mass extinctions of life. The famous comet strike 66 million years ago that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs is just one example.

What causes this correlation between Earth’s passes through the galactic disk and the impacts and extinctions that seem to follow?

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

But even more remarkably, with each dip through the disk, the dark matter can apparently accumulate within 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. Astrophysical phenomena derived from Earth’s winding path through the galactic disk and the consequent accumulation of dark matter in the planet’s interior can result in dramatic changes in Earth’s geological and biological activity.