Sunday, October 7, 2007

Gravitational Changes Are Dangerous

I want to do a mind experiment with you. It is simple math and will only take a minute.

Our solar system orbits the Milky Way galaxy. The “number crunchers” of our age tell us it takes ~225 million years for our solar system to make a single orbit.

We are also told that the orbit oscillates 2.7 times during that orbit above and below the galactic plane (densest part of the galaxy) by 24 degrees latitude.

We are also told that the galactic orbit is elliptical (oval), and that would mean we rotate closer and further away from the galactic core.

Now for the experiment.

If the solar system oscillates above and below the the galactic plane 2.7 times in its orbit, that means it happens every ~83 million years [ (225/2.7=83.3) ].

Now to achieve an oscillation you cross the galactic plane twice. Our solar system crosses once diving down and then once again on the way up to return to the starting point. So this means a galactic plane crossing every 41.6 million years [ 83.3/2=41.6) ].

Alright, now let’s look at Earth’s geologic record which records events in the scale of millions of years. What happens every ~41.6 million years? Let’s look at mass animal extinctions for that is a large pattern and people love to rubber neck disaster.

The above graph depicts mass animal extinctions on Earth and do you notice a pattern of how frequently they happen? Yes, it happens around every ~41.6 million years.

So now we know crossing the galactic equator is dangerous.

But I bet you want to know why it is more dangerous at certain times than at other times.

The answer is quite simple. Our solar system orbits the galaxy in an elliptical (oval) orbit. Sometimes when we cross the galactic plane we are farther from the galactic barycenter (rotational point of the galaxy), but closer to the galactic core (largest concentration of mass) than others.

The closer you are to the galactic core the closer you are to more mass and the more mass the greater the gravitational influence. The more gravitational influence the more it affects Earth’s climate as this additional gravity affects our sun. The more the Earth’s climate varies the more animals go extinct.

It comes down to the chances of walking across a busy highway at 3:00 in the afternoon versus 3:00 in the morning and how that relates to your chances of being run down.

So within that ~225 million year orbit there should be one area of mass extinction where it peaks, where the galactic plane crossings occur when the solar system is closest to the galactic core.

I suppose you can see from the mass animal extinction graph above this works with the ebb and flow of our elliptical galactic orbit. Every ~225 million years mass animal extinctions peak.

The good news is that we just completed that “worst” crossing ~45 million years ago, and we are moving away from it. In ~30 million years there will another mass extinction, but less severe than the last one.

It is as predictable as the sun rising in the morning.

The best part is that these same principles work at both the galactic level and the smaller scale of our solar system which has its own mass and changes in gravity due to variances of the “solar core” and “solar barycenter” (a point just outside the solar core). This makes it possible to predict approximate climate change on Earth.