A new hypothesis for the cause of the extinction of the dinosaurs has ruffled some feathers in the scientific world. The book Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe develops the theory according to which dark matter affected the orbits of the planets and asteroids in our solar system.
As a result of this, a gigantic asteroid collided with Earth and led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Author of the book is subatomic particle researcher Lisa Randall.
So far, she has several published bestsellers in the field of science. Her new book in the popular science genre hits stores this fall.
The probability of an asteroid hitting Earth is high enough even without throwing dark matter into the equation. But the new theory clearly illustrates how everything in the universe is connected. Phenomena, which at 1st glance seem to have nothing in common, actually interact with each other.
66 million years ago, 3/4 of all of the biological species on the planet were forever wiped off after an enormous cosmic object collided with the Earth. Even today there is still debate about where it came from.
Lisa Randall theorizes that one of the completely plausible variants is for the solar system to have gone through a cloud of dark matter.
This little-known substance hardly interacts with regular matter at all, with the exception of gravity. Its very existence is merely theoretical and according to scientists it's present in areas of the universe where the gravitational pull seems stronger without any visible cause.
The new theory proposes that our solar system entered into a gravitational interaction with this dark matter. The outcome was asteroids having their orbits changed and one of these heading toward Earth.
Lisa's theory is supported by her colleague Matthew Reece from Harvard. Years ago, the 2 of them developed a new model for dark matter distribution in the galaxy, according to which there exists a disc of dark matter in the Milky Way.
The Sun, besides around the galactic center, also moves up and down. The bright star periodically goes through a denser disk of dark matter.
In this way, every 35 million years, all asteroids, comets and all sorts of celestial bodies become activated. This is also supported by obtained field data which prove this pattern of comets and asteroids falling to Earth in those same periods.
Research in this area are only just beginning and promise even more new and intriguing results.