Joined: Jan. 2006
Older story I missed, also via LiveScience
|The rise and fall of species on Earth might be driven in part by the undulating motions of our solar system as it travels through the disk of the Milky Way, scientists say.|
Two years ago, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley found the marine fossil record shows that biodiversity—the number of different species alive on the planet—increases and decreases on a 62-million-year cycle. At least two of the Earth’s great mass extinctions—the Permian extinction 250 million years ago and the Ordovician extinction about 450 million years ago—correspond with peaks of this cycle, which can’t be explained by evolutionary theory.
Now, a team of researchers at the University of Kansas (KU) have come up with an out-of-this-world explanation. Their idea hinges upon the fact that, appearances aside, stars are not fixed in space. They move around, sometimes rushing headlong through galaxies, or approaching close enough to one another for brief cosmic trysts.
In particular, our Sun moves toward and away from the Milky Way’s center, and also up and down through the galactic plane. One complete up-and-down cycle takes 64 million years— suspiciously similar to Earth’s biodiversity cycle.
Probably should read the rest of the blurb at the link above to get the full gist of it. I didn't want to paste too much of it...
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Linkyâ€œ. ~ Steve Story, Legend