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Sun's Dark Companion 'Nemesis' Not So Likely

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the trilobites-look-up dept.

Space 306

TravisTR passes along a story about the death of Nemesis. "The data that once suggested the Sun is orbited by a distant dark companion now raises even more questions... The periodicity [of mass extinctions] is a matter of some controversy among paleobiologists but there is a growing consensus that something of enormous destructive power happens every 26 or 27 million years. The question is what? ... another idea first put forward in the 1980s is that the Sun has a distant dark companion called Nemesis that sweeps through the Oort cloud every 27 million years or so, sending a deadly shower of comets our way. ... [Researchers] have brought together a massive set of extinction data from the last 500 million years, a period that is twice as long as anybody else has studied. And their analysis shows an excess of extinctions every 27 million years, with a confidence level of 99%. That's a clear, sharp signal over a huge length of time. At first glance, you'd think it clearly backs the idea that a distant dark object orbits the Sun every 27 million years. But ironically, the accuracy and regularity of these events is actually evidence against Nemesis' existence."

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Only one logical explanation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881002)

The Reapers [wikipedia.org] are real.

Re:Only one logical explanation: (1)

damnfuct (861910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881150)

That's just a lie; it was all the geth's doing.

Re:Only one logical explanation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881268)

It's okay. Commander Shepard will send them back to dark space.

Re:Only one logical explanation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881324)

Ah yes, "reapers": we have dismissed that claim.

How long since last time (3, Funny)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881010)

How long has it been since the last apocalypse? Basically is the odometer rolling around its 27 millionth year? If so can we see something coming? Dust cloud?

Re:How long since last time (4, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881038)

Read the Fine Article.

We've got lots of time -- we're only 11 million years into this cycle.

Re:How long since last time (4, Informative)

vakuona (788200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881132)

"Fine". Seriously!? And here I thought it was...

Re:How long since last time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881334)

As in, "read the fine manual". "Fine" being a euphemism.

Re:How long since last time (5, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881800)

Nope. It's always been fine. Read the fine article. Read the fine manual. Your wife and I were fine last night. Always just been fine.

Re:How long since last time (0, Offtopic)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881864)

I dunno. I really thought it was Read The F***ing Article. Seemed natural to me. Does that make me an uncouth BOFH? Possibly. What sounds better when your telling somebody to read the manual or the article? "Read The Fine Article", or "Read the F****** Article!"?

I learned something today, and something about myself too......

Re:How long since last time (4, Funny)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881906)

Wooosh

Re:How long since last time (0, Offtopic)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | more than 4 years ago | (#32882050)

Excellent! You, sir, have done a wonderfully good job of presenting the fine concept involved in certain TLAs.

Now there is only the problem of getting foo and bar out of apps written in C or C++. While that would probably lead to fewer fine apps, the world would be a better place.

Re:How long since last time (5, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881244)

I predict a nuclear holocaust before then, honestly.

Re:How long since last time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881580)

So did the dinosaurs...

Re:How long since last time (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881790)

I'm predicting something other than nuclear - probably biological.

Re:How long since last time (4, Funny)

steelfood (895457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881264)

Damn, and here I was, holding out that it would be December 21st, 2012.

Re:How long since last time (4, Interesting)

anorlunda (311253) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881362)

Better still, read the comment to the article by Torbjorn at the same URL as the article. Torbjorn calls it "Bad research, worse article" and he makes a pretty strong case.

Re:How long since last time (2, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881550)

> Better still, read the comment to the article by Torbjorn...

I quit reading when I got to "stealth creationist". That's the sort of ad hominem crap that's typical of Slashdot comments.

Re:How long since last time (4, Funny)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881730)

I quit reading when I got to "stealth creationist". That's the sort of ad hominem crap that's typical of Slashdot comments.

I quit reading after I got to the word "the". That's the sort of crap that's typical of Slashdot comments.

Re:How long since last time (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881860)

But not of Slashdot commenters: you looked at the article.

Re:How long since last time (5, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#32882268)

I quit reading after I got to the word "the". That's the sort of crap that's typical of Slashdot comments.

I quit reading after I got to Slashdot

Re:How long since last time (1)

GeoGreg (631708) | more than 4 years ago | (#32882260)

I think the key phrase there is "philosopher of biology" (quotes in original). I don't think the author of the comment thinks much of philosophers in general. And a little google will show you that Michael Ruse is quite controversial among evolutionists. Personal attacks have been part of the evolution-creationism debate since the beginning. But to dismiss an argument because the author made a mild (for these debates) personal attack in a parenthetical is not playing by the rules of logic, either.

Re:How long since last time (-1, Redundant)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881046)

Seriously...not a word in TFA about whether it is half-past 27 million years, or 2 hours till...

Re:How long since last time (5, Interesting)

cheesee (97693) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881162)

From FTA:

There is a smidgeon of good news. The last extinction event in this chain happened 11 million years ago so, in theory at least, we have plenty of time to work out where the next catastrophe is coming from.

Re:How long since last time (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881602)

in theory at least, we have plenty of time to work out where the next catastrophe is coming from.

... or make our own, with blackjack and nukes.

Re:How long since last time (1)

dilvish_the_damned (167205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881820)

From FTA: There is a smidgeon of good news. The last extinction event in this chain happened 11 million years ago so, in theory at least, we have plenty of time to work out where the next catastrophe is coming from.

Great. The suspense is going to kill us.

Re:How long since last time (4, Funny)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881380)

And, in a stunning display of randomness (or a 1% solution, depending upon your perspective), nemesis sent meteors crashing down into the keyboards of everybody who modded me down...

Re:How long since last time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881056)

Well, I may be just a lowly anonymous coward, but if you even GLANCED over the fucking article, there at the bottom is this little gem:

"The last extinction event in this chain happened 11 million years ago so, in theory at least, we have plenty of time to work out where the next catastrophe is coming from."

Re:How long since last time (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881108)

Ahhhh...I sit corrected - I don't know how I missed it.

Here's hoping the universe isn't in a 1% mood, then.

11 million years (1)

kf6auf (719514) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881090)

11 million years, so we have about 16 million years to figure out what happens and then do something about it.

Re:11 million years (4, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881146)

Crap, we're screwed. We are not good at planning ahead. If only we'd had more time.

Re:11 million years (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32882016)

>>>If only we'd had more time.

Ach, why bother? In about 100 billion years all the stars will run out of fuel, and there will be nothing left but glowing embers (red dwarfs). The 'verse will be so dark you won't even be able to see, and any humans still left alive will be clinging to the embers like flies on poo, just waiting for the inevitable extinction. So why even bother to try? We're all doomed.

"It's depressing just thinking about it." - Marvin the Robot

Thank God! (4, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881188)

11 million years

At first I read "1.1 million years" and was really worried

Re:Thank God! (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881606)

Yeah, I was hoping I could see DN4E first, too.

Re:Thank God! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881788)

They cancelled it, you know. Game/joke over man.

Re:11 million years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881508)

My plan is to leave, one way or another, before it comes around again.

Re:11 million years (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881874)

That might be enough if we have to run the simulations in Windows.

If you RTFA... :) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881178)

You'd see this: "There is a smidgeon of good news. The last extinction event in this chain happened 11 million years ago so, in theory at least, we have plenty of time to work out where the next catastrophe is coming from."

Another thing to keep in mind - even if it's "dark" it will still have some non-zero temperature. So one of our long wavelength satellites (including the newest crop: Herschel, Planck, and WISE) would have or will eventually see it.

WISE, especially, according to projections based on pre-launch specs will be able to identify the following:
* Gliese 229B to 150 lightyears
* A brown dwarf warmer than 200 K to 4 lightyears
* A freefloating planet like Jupiter to 1 lightyear.

Re:How long since last time (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881180)

How long has it been since the last apocalypse?

From TFA: The last extinction event in this chain happened 11 million years ago.

Re:How long since last time (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881718)

As has already been suggested - read TFA. Then, read the comments. The article seems to be largely about bogus science. There isn't any real periodicity to the extinctions.

But, even if TFA were accurate, and provable - we'll miss the next regularly schduled extinction anyway, I'm sure. We'll probably kill ourselves off first.

Re:How long since last time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881940)

Don't know... but imagine how insane the movie 27002012 will be!

How long until it's due again? (1)

artifactual (955774) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881018)

Should I start digging my bunker now, or can I wait until I have a bigger backyard?

Wait it's ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881082)

Having RTFA I can answer my own question. We have 16 million years to get ready. Start saving for the deluxe model.

Re:How long until it's due again? (1)

dadelbunts (1727498) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881120)

There is a smidgeon of good news. The last extinction event in this chain happened 11 million years ago so, in theory at least, we have plenty of time to work out where the next catastrophe is coming from. You can dig a big motherfucking bunker. Might I interest you in one of these classy Vault-Tec Vaults.

Re:How long until it's due again? (1)

artifactual (955774) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881288)

That sounds good. I'll take the 11 million dollar model if I can pay it off in installments.

Re:How long until it's due again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881330)

The question isn't how long until it's due again. The question is how long until the next apocalypse movie. They're just winding you up for profit. No real scientists go around publishing papers on this stuff.

Cue the 2012 theories (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881026)

All I can think reading this is great another stupid theory that the 2012 nut jobs can latch onto.

Re:Cue the 2012 theories (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881208)

That's not really the expertise of 2012 nut jobs - you'll need some 11002012 nut jobs.

period of passing through the galaxy ecliptics? (5, Interesting)

Kvasio (127200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881032)

isn't this the most simple explaination? Most stars in Mily Way arms are known to bounce up and down the ecliptic.

Re:period of passing through the galaxy ecliptics? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881368)

This. The closer we get to the central plane, the more likely we are to hit awful periods of random rocks in space, and possibly exploding stars, that would be the worst, huge increase in cancer rates in most animals across the board.
Random stardust in general will be more prevalent up there too, leading to increased cosmic rays.

I, for one, will be building an underground city, you are welcome to join me Slashdot.
LifeVault 100, Ayrshire, Scotland, over and out.

Re:period of passing through the galaxy ecliptics? (2, Funny)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881744)

I, for one, will be building an underground city, you are welcome to join me Slashdot.

Hey, cool, thanks! I can bring guns, ammo, survival rations, a four-wheel-drive vehicle, electrical power generators and radio equipment and a Caterpillar D-9. But you're not allergic to cats, are you? Because I can't go anywhere without Fluffy...

Re:period of passing through the galaxy ecliptics? (3, Funny)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881910)

Because I can't go anywhere without Fluffy...

Okay, do I know you?...

*sips coffee*

Re:period of passing through the galaxy ecliptics? (1)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881782)

How exactly would that work?

The orbital period of Sol around the Galaxy seems to be almost ten times this extinction period.

Re:period of passing through the galaxy ecliptics? (4, Informative)

sunspot42 (455706) | more than 4 years ago | (#32882330)

The sun doesn't just orbit the center of the galaxy, though. It also moves up and down relative to the galactic plane. Some have suggested that whenever the solar system reverses direction in that oscillation, very bad things happen, possibly due to the Oort Cloud experiencing some lag in reversing direction relative to the rest of the system. The sun essentially winds up off-center in the Oort Cloud, and in comparison to normal periods a lot of comets get kicked into the inner solar system as a result of this imbalance.

What they haven't told us is... (0, Redundant)

gcerullo (1573093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881042)

the next anniversary date is...2012.

"Bad research, worse article": RTFC (0, Redundant)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881060)

This is a case when we should be reading the comments [technologyreview.com] to the article.

Re:"Bad research, worse article": RTFC (1)

ewn1453 (1837408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881482)

And 99% confidence is not that high. Not high enough to believe something so ridiculous. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

Two times 27 (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881078)

Are we not somewhere around two standard deviations out from the mean time between events since the last major extinction at the end of the Cretaceous? /me - thrashes for my copy of the Mayan calendar...

Second comment debunks (4, Interesting)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881080)

The second comment under the article seems to be a pretty serious debunking. I'm not going to take sides or tell you who's right and wrong because I don't know, but I will note that arXiv (the source for the claims) is for pre-prints and is not peer-reviewed.

Re:Second comment debunks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881154)

C&P the relevant comment:

Avanthor
07/12/2010
Mass extinction
Not every mass extinction was caused by Meteors, many were cause by volcanic eruptions (ash and dust from the Earths crust somehow got into the atmosphere)so it may be a build up of heat within the Earths core, after all it is metalic and in theory absorb particals to small to be filtered by the Earths atmosphere and crust, 27 million years is a long time for those to build up heat, maybe the earth expands due to this every 27 million years, I know with the seas ever deepening that alone puts pressure on the core.. maybe with the ice caps melting this will add extra pressure.. the books still open on that one, yellow stone park, Sumatra and Siberia are on mega volcanoes we really need to concentrate on finding the exact cause of all the extinctions before we can say it is not merely a bizarre coincidence.

Re:Second comment debunks (5, Informative)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881312)

that's the third comment.

Here is a bit from the second comment:

The fact is that with modern and better paleontological data any peridocity is rejected, as easily checked with autocorrelation [ucla.edu] [Alroy, 2008]:

"Quantitatively, extinction rates in the Fossil Record 2 family data (3) and Sepkoski’s family and genus data (1, 2) are not correlated with themselves at any time lag (49), which is a necessary condition for periodicity to hold. That said, analyses of origination rates in all three datasets (49, 50) suggest short-term autocorrelation. However, the current dataset shows no autocorrelation in either kind of rate (Fig. S1), and a standard spectral analysis (Fig. S2) also suggests purely random variation through the time series (i.e., white noise)."

Re:There is worse... (3, Informative)

openfrog (897716) | more than 4 years ago | (#32882172)

Some more debunking in the second comment:

First off, there is likely no "growing consensus that something of enormous destructive power happens every 26 or 27 million years". It is an old idea, probably originated with the terrible paper by Raup and Sepkoski 1986, which I have criticized on the web several times; (...) [Not to poison the well, but Bambach published lately in Ruse and Sepkoski eds "Paleontology at the High Table." One must take a dim view with the abilities of anyone that choose to cooperate with "philosopher of biology" and known stealth creationist Ruse.]

Re:Second comment debunks (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881358)

I know with the seas ever deepening that alone puts pressure on the core.. maybe with the ice caps melting this will add extra pressure..

This is a complete fucking joke, and it's pathetic that you people are taking it seriously. Let's put things into perspective. The Earth's crust is about 5km thick under the oceans. It's about 3000km down to the outer core, with another 3000km down to the inner core. To say that this ridiculously thin crust is putting any significant pressure on that core is laughable, and shows that the comment writer really has no idea about basic geology at all.

Re:Second comment debunks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881574)

Furthermore, the water in the "ever deepening" ocean was already on the crust. Different location, spread out over a larger area, etc etc etc, but still on the crust, so any pressure it's exerting has been there all along.

Re:Second comment debunks (2, Informative)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881834)

The preprint has been peer reviewed and has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, one of the most prestigious astrophysics journals on this planet.

Re:Second comment debunks (3, Insightful)

GeoGreg (631708) | more than 4 years ago | (#32882348)

Peer-review does not guarantee accuracy. In areas of evolving science, many papers are published in good journals whose conclusions are later determined to be in error. Some journals (I don't know if MNAS is one) are particularly willing to publish papers with novel or contentious conclusions in order to further debate on the matter.

Re:Second comment debunks (2, Interesting)

GSV Eat Me Reality (1845852) | more than 4 years ago | (#32882248)

  I read the comment. It seems to be mostly composed of reused commentary from the articles in question, unsubstantiated (and grammatically nonsensical) personal attacks on the authors involved in those articles;

  [Not to poison the well, but Bambach published lately in Ruse and Sepkoski eds "Paleontology at the High Table." One must take a dim view with the abilities of anyone that choose to cooperate with "philosopher of biology" and known stealth creationist Ruse.]

  and very little information supporting the comment author's position other than what appears to be mostly speculative musing;

First off, there is likely no "growing consensus that something of enormous destructive power happens every 26 or 27 million years". It is an old idea, probably originated with the terrible paper by Raup and Sepkoski 1986, which I have criticized on the web several times; it defines peak in an ad hoc and inappropriate manner (as noise), claim to but doesn't really use a null hypothesis et cetera. That it would have growing support outside the community who looks for pattern identification in data I seriously doubt.

  I did not find it a rational nor compelling rebuttal.

The cycle cannot be broken. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881104)

The pattern has repeated itself more times than you can fathom. Organic civilizations rise, evolve, advance, and at the apex of their glory they are extinguished. The Protheans were not the first.

And my first thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881116)

...was that Oracle is, in fact, pretty damned likely.

Mass Effect is right (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881196)

It's the Reapers.

What happened to the theory about... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881200)

The periodicity of the Solar system traveling parallel to the axis of the galactic center up and down through the arm of the galaxy. This, I thought, was close the the time frame for mass extinctions and was presumed that our traveling through the more cluttered parts of the arm were to blame for us coming in contact with debris.

Re:What happened to the theory about... (1)

outofoptions (199169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881346)

I've read the same.

ni66a (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881272)

BSD's acclaimed Same year, BS3D ASSOCIATION OF a change to ballots. You could Creek, abysmal To the crowd in

It's obvious, isn't it? (2, Funny)

mt1955 (698912) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881310)

Pathetic earthlings. Hurling your bodies out into the void, without the slightest inkling of who or what is out here. If you had known anything about the true nature of the universe, anything at all, you would've hidden from it in terror. -- Ming the Merciless

What a bunch of hooey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881340)

We cannot even tell what really happened thousand years ago let alone two or twenty-four million. It is all conjecture.

Cause (1)

ebonum (830686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881344)

A massive keg party held every 27 million years with everyone in the Milky Way invited! :)

"Either way, the origin of the 27 million year extinction cycle is hotting up to become one of the great scientific mysteries of our time. Suggestions, if you have any, in the comments section please."

Re:Cause (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881764)

We're not hosting an intergalactic kegger.

Re:Cause (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881870)

Right. The last one was on Mars, and look at the place now.

I think I understand (5, Funny)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881356)

Sun's Dark Companion 'Nemesis' Not So Likely

"Nemesis" is the codename for the next MySQL release, to which Oracle is giving the ax. After the 5.1 debacle [theregister.co.uk] , I'm not surprised the database is being touted as a "Sun's Dark Companion."

Odd, I just got this weird feeling that I'm being offtopic.

According to the Sumerians (1)

neptunusmaris (1466809) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881364)

...They knew of some sort of death star/planet and they called it "Nibiru" which means "Planet of the Crossing" (why would they name it that?!) and they drew it on one of their tablets along with the other planets. BUT the Sumerians said it takes a 3600 year orbit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nibiru_(Babylonian_astronomy) [wikipedia.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nibiru_collision [wikipedia.org] I've read books about it... very interesting stuff.

Vote! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881414)

The Republicans would never have let it come to
this!

No Sh1T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881416)

Really...So none of this sh1t really matters and I did just waste three minutes of my life! BTW that roughly 54000000000 generations! WTF!!! can't you author something meaningful?

BadAstronomer said something similar (5, Interesting)

magsol (1406749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881428)

...only it was a larger multiple: somewhere in the vicinity of every 150-180 million years. However, in this case, it's due to our solar system's z-axis oscillation with respect to the rest of the Milky Way galaxy. The dust and gas of the galaxy acts as a shield against cosmic radiation, but every 150-180 million years, our solar system reaches the z-edge of the galaxy and is maximally exposed to the elements.

What accounts for the 5-7 other mass extinctions within that time frame, however, I defer to TFA.

By the way.... (2, Funny)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881440)

It's been 26,999,998 years since the last mass extinction.

Patterns (1)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881448)

Patterns are evident throughout the "natural world" (including space) - from same level (e.g., similar human-social development from groups that never cross each other) to different levels (e.g., cell formations and a bird's eye view of rural housing layouts).

In this natural world, many systems "clean" themselves. Examples include living cells, natural water filtration, and even "social systems" (e.g., jails).

What if we are the particulate matter collecting on the "mucous" layer of the Earth and the Earth ... clears its throat every 26 million years or so?

(puff - puff - pass)

Re:Patterns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881762)

cool story bro

Read Articles Second Comment ! (1)

RichMan (8097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881510)

The articles second comment discusses in detail the idea of a 26M year extinction cycle.

Re:Read Articles Second Comment ! (1)

Binkleyz (175773) | more than 4 years ago | (#32882162)

But wait, isn't the Earth only 6000 years old?

Could they be ice ages? (1)

nermaljcat (895576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881512)

Is there any correlation between these mass extinction events/periods and regular ice ages?

Re:Could they be ice ages? (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881850)

No. Glaciation epsiodes have been happening fairly regularly for the past two million years or so. Before that the planet appears to have been free of ice ages for a few hundred million years.

Well, I'm relieved. (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881598)

I'd hate to think there was an 'orrible cunt out there seeking retribution against Sol.

Debunked nicely in the comments (4, Informative)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881724)

Read the comment "Bad research, worse article" in the comments section. "Melott has made an arxiv carrier of various kinds of pattern searches and catastrophism scenarios in data. (What I would like to call "pseudoscience conspirationism".) " To sum it up, this article is probably sensationalist psuedoscience and there is nothing to see here.

wait, what? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881774)

A kdawson post that was likely show to be irrelevant before it was even put up? I'm shocked I say. Shocked!

I thought Suns dark companion was (4, Funny)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881838)

Oracle, who are probably going to cause an extinction much earlier than this....

Caused by the Sun itself? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881942)

This question is more directed toward all you helio astronomers and astro physicists.

Could it be caused by a solar event? Say, something like a Mini Nova where the sun undergoes a cyclical "hiccup".

you dFAIL it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32881982)

Fucking confirmed: at death's door GNAA on slashdo7, gloves, condoms during play, this confirmed that *BSD

Only 4% of the universe is detectable (1)

Beeftopia (1846720) | more than 4 years ago | (#32882090)

What is 96% of the universe made of?

Everything we see in the Universe, from an ant to a galaxy, is made up of ordinary particles. These are collectively referred to as matter, forming 4% of the Universe. Dark matter and dark energy are believed to make up the remaining proportion, but they are incredibly difficult to detect and study, other than through the gravitational forces they exert. Investigating the nature of dark matter and dark energy is one of the biggest challenges today in the fields of particle physics and cosmology.

The ATLAS and CMS experiments will look for supersymmetric particles to test a likely hypothesis for the make-up of dark matter.

http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/lhc/WhyLHC-en.html

The 27 million year period is interesting. Could be any of a myriad forces drawing large chunks of rock towards the earth.

Next week on the sci-fi channel the sun nemesis wi (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32882166)

Next week on the sci-fi channel the sun nemesis will strike!

Why does this sound like that kind of movie but our super spy sat with a laser will save us!

I thought ... (3, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32882294)

... Sun's dark companion was called Oracle. When did they change their name to Nemesis?

Ask the global warming crowd (1, Funny)

jvillain (546827) | more than 4 years ago | (#32882370)

Why not ask the AGW crowd. They know every thing about what affects the earth. They have graphs to prove these extinctions events didn't happen and they have all come to a consensus on it. What more do you need.

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