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Catastrophes and Prehistory

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Author Topic: Catastrophes and Prehistory  (Read 6321 times)
Troy Exeter
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Posts: 2113

« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2007, 10:26:37 pm »

The Shiva Hypothesis - Periodic Mass Extinctions

The Jan/Feb 98 Issue of Planetary Report has an article by Michael Rampino "The Shiva Hypothesis". This describes a 30 million year cycle of mass extinctions over the past 540 million years (see diagram). One hypothesis is that this corresponds the the solar system oscillating through the galactic plane as it orbits the Milky Way.  Rampino notes that the last crossing of the galactic plane occurred a few million years ago and it has been suggested that this led to a disturbance of comets in the Oort Cloud, some of which could now be approaching the inner solar system.

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