Thursday, March 24, 2016

Daily 2 Cents: Mass Extinctions Occur Every 62 Million Years -- Flashes of Light, Mutilated Deer & Descending Stars -- Prehistoric 'Unicorn'


Mass Extinctions Occur Every 62 Million Years

My colleague Judith Martin offered an intriguing article:

With surprising and mysterious regularity, life on Earth has flourished and vanished in cycles of mass extinction every 62 million years, say two University of California Berkeley scientists who discovered the pattern after a painstaking computer study of fossil records going back for more than 500 million years. Their findings are certain to generate a renewed burst of speculation among scientists who study the history and evolution of life. Each period of abundant life and each mass extinction has itself covered at least a few million years — and the trend of biodiversity has been rising steadily ever since the last mass extinction, when dinosaurs and millions of other life forms went extinct about 65 million years ago.

The Berkeley researchers are physicists, but they have analyzed the most exhaustive compendium of fossil records that exists of no fewer than 36,380 separate marine genera, including millions of species that once thrived in the world’s seas. Richard Muller and his graduate student, Robert Rohde, have published a report on their exhaustive study in the journal Nature.

“We’ve tried everything we can think of to find an explanation for these weird cycles of biodiversity and extinction,” Muller said, “and so far, we’ve failed.”

Suns position is two thirds out from center on arm of Milky Way

The evidence of strange extinction cycles that first drew Rohde’s attention emerged from an elaborate computer database he developed from the largest compendium of fossil data ever created.

1 - John Sepkoski Jr. suggested that marine life appeared to have its ups and downs in cycles every 26 million years. However, to Rohde and Muller, the longer cycle is strikingly more evident, although they have also seen the suggestion of even longer cycles that seem to recur every 140 million years. Sepkoski’s fossil record of marine life extends back for 540 million years to the time of the great “Cambrian Explosion,” when almost all the ancestral forms of multicellular life emerged, and Muller and Rohde built on it for their computer version.

2 - Muller has long been known as an unconventional and imaginative physicist on the Berkeley campus. Perhaps, there is an unknown “Planet X” somewhere far out beyond the solar system that’s disturbing the comets in the distant region called the Oort Cloud — where they exist by the millions — to the point that they shower the Earth and cause extinctions in regular cycles. Daniel Whitmire and John Matese of the University of Louisiana proposed that idea as a cause of major comet showers in 1985, but no one except UFO believers has ever discovered a sign of it.

Or perhaps there’s some kind of “natural timetable” deep inside the Earth that triggers cycles of massive volcanism, Rohde has thought. There is even a bit of evidence: A huge slab of volcanic basalt known as the Deccan Traps in India has been dated to 65 million years ago — just when the dinosaurs died, he noted. And the similar basaltic Siberian Traps were formed by volcanism about 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, when the greatest of all mass extinctions drove more than 70 percent of all the world’s marine life to death, Rohde said.

Muller’s favorite explanation, he said informally, is that the solar system passes through an exceptionally massive arm of our own spiral Milky Way galaxy every 62 million years, and that that increase in galactic gravity might set off a hugely destructive comet shower that would drive cycles of mass extinction on Earth.

Periodic Mass Extinctions, Alexander's Thesis

Let us now look at Bob Alexander's thesis and calculations which I will vary somewhat to determine the actual length of the Cosmic Year. Periodic mass extinctions appear to have happened at least several times throughout the Earth’s history. The K/T boundary, as it is called, marks the end of the reign of the dinosaurs and is about 65 Million years old. It is popularly believed that a large asteroid struck the Earth causing a worldwide change in climate, which interrupted the food chain.

More recently discovered ‘Smoking Gun’ evidence points to another mass extinction, which occurred around 251 Million years ago when another large asteroid presumably struck the earth.

And there appears to be even newer evidence that mass extinctions may happen at the rate of every 62 Million years (+/- 3MY).
Period (End of) Die out rate / X

65 MYA (Cretaceous) 85 % /1 = 65 MY
208 MYA (Trassic) 25% over time /3 = 69.33 MY
245 MYA (Permian) 96% /4 = 61.25 MY
365 MYA (Devonian) 70% over time /6 = 60.83 MY
438 MYA (Ordovician) 50% + some over time /7 = 62.57 MY

Average 63.796 MY

By virtue of the chart above I believe the average is more like 63.796 MY, but for now let’s say that 62 MY (based on current physical evidence) is the periodic mass extinction average. 251 / 62 = 4.048 (Remember that number)

Something happens every 62 Million (or so) years, which puts us in harm’s way, so to speak. In its orbit around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, our Solar system may also do this little sinusoidal motion from the top to the bottom to the top (and so on) of the Orion arm which we go around in. Now, what if the period of one cycle through the arm is around 124 Million years? Within one cycle, we would pass through the middle of the ring (the most dense part) twice and about every 62 million years.

As we spin around in the arm our forward motion (~150,000 miles/sec) is continuous, but if we go up and down also, that rate would change with position due to angular motion.

Now, it is bad enough that we would traverse this much more dense part of the ring, but we would go through its’ center at maximum velocity, much faster (in the up/down axis) than when we reach the outer edges of the arm where that relative motion (again up/down) stops altogether so that it can reverse. If we didn’t stop (in the up/down axis), we would just fly off into deep space and it would be bye-bye Milky Way. But luckily (or not) all of the mass nearer the center of the arm has gravitational force with acts to pull us back in for yet another cycle. It may well be that these huge killer asteroids do not ‘hit us’ as much as we run into them because of our high speed ‘sweeping’ through a large area of space.

The center of the ring isn’t a hard boundary, it is just more dense than on either side and there is a density gradient as you move away from the center. So, there is some latitude for interval timing due to this ‘kill zone’ principal.

The Earth has had eight centerline passes in 251 Million Years. The error of margin then is about 375,000 years per centerline pass or 187,500 years on either side of it. The dinosaurs were wiped out by a big asteroid 65 Million Years ago and we are due for the next one just about… yesterday… minus ~3 MY. In other words, either we are ~3 Million years overdue or just got lucky on this pass.
Let’s look at a few numbers.

The Milky Way Galaxy is about 100,000 Light Years (LY) in diameter. Our Solar system is about 26,000 light years or about 2/3 of the way out from the galactic center and we revolve at 250 kilometers or about 150,000 miles per second. We make one revolution every 226 Million Years, which means that we have made about 20 revolutions since the Earth was formed about 4.5 Billion Years ago. It is estimated that there are between 200 and 400 BILLION other stars in the Milky Way and that at least some of those have planets. It is likely from looking at our own Solar system that at least some of those planets probably have moons. That’s a lot of stuff – not to mention asteroids and comets.

a graphic, which illustrates the theory

It is believed that we are about 10 Light Years (LY) away from the centerline of the Orion arm, which is believed to be 3000 LY thick in our vicinity. We appear to be right in the middle of the rocks, the densest part of the arm.

If the last mass extinction was 65 Million Years ago and the half cycle period is around 62 MY then we are in a predictable (not to mention scary position) especially if we are moving away from the centerline.

If you think there is anything we could do to stop one of these killer asteroids if one were discovered tomorrow, you have been watching too many Hollywood movies. However, NASA places a high priority on finding Near- Earth Objects (NEOs) and protecting Earth from them.

Established in 1998, NASA’s NEO Observations Program is responsible for the Agency’s efforts at finding, tracking, and characterizing NEOs. The agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena Calif., conducts the daily operations of the program. In 2010, NASA fulfilled a congressional mandate to discover at least 90 percent of 1-kilometer-sized NEOs, and is now working hard to find smaller NEOs. NASA’s NEO Observation Program is also a key member of the International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN), organized last year by the United Nations. In response to UN COPUOS recommendations, space agencies are also establishing a Space Missions Planning Advisory Group to consider options for planetary defense against potential NEO impacts with Earth.


This artist’s concept (above) shows the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE spacecraft, in its orbit around Earth. In 2013, the mission was brought out of hibernation to hunt for more asteroids and comets in a project called Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE). The Asteroid Initiative, which includes a bold mission to identify, capture and relocate an asteroid through the Asteroid Redirect Mission, and the Asteroid Grand Challenge to find all asteroids threats to human population and know what to do about them. Thanks to Nature and NASA - Judith Martin

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Flashes of Light, Mutilated Deer & Descending Stars

Grayling, MI - 7/15/2012: I, myself, am a UFO skeptic. Pere Cheney and Grayling are next to a US Army National Guard installment, so seeing aircraft was normal...even for the middle of the night. However, these were not military aircraft. At least, none that I've ever seen before. The other two witnesses wish to remain anonymous, and wish to not be bothered about the sighting ever again.

It was the last summer my friends and I had together; I was leaving to the army in September. So, we decided to have one last 'adventure' together. My parents would always tell horror stories about hauntings in Pere Cheney, and we thought we were the bravest punks around, so we decided that would be the ideal place to camp for 3 days. Once we arrived at our site- a place off in the middle of the woods not too far from the cemetery of Pere Cheney (one of the only pieces left of the abandoned settlement)- we immediately began our investigation of the area surrounding and set up camp. The first day went fine, but come the first night, strange things started happening.

We woke to a flash in the sky- a very quick one. The other two went back to sleep, but out of curiosity I remained awake, fearing that a storm was coming on. To my relief, there was no thunder. I had just started to doze off when I heard some branches cracking around the tent, and I began to remember my parents horror stories about "Dogman" and Barewalk"- old Native American tales. Fearing the worst, I curled into my sleeping bag and closed my eyes. Eventually, the movement stopped. Another flash of light occurred. Sleep eventually found me, the next thing I knew I was waking up to the sun light.

The next day, my other two friends seemed to have no recollection of the light, nor did they remember hearing anything moving about. Because such things seemed crazy, I wrote it off as an "all in my head" situation.

We decided to explore a little that day; the previous day one of my friends had discovered a small marsh-like area. After a few moments of snooping around the area my other friend called our attention to something in the tall grass. It was a deer, but it had its throat slit as if by a surgical tool, and it had no guts. There was no blood around the carcass, and it didn't smell decomposed at all. Now unsettled, we returned to our camp to finish the second day- we spent the rest of it playing guitar around the campfire and just in general having a good time; we had forgotten all about the deer, and I had almost forgotten the light.

Later that night, at about 2:30 am, I want to say, a light, cool breeze blew through the forest, and the fire dimmed to a low glow. At that moment, we got our cell phones out to check the time- and realized we didn't have signal like we had before. I raised my phone to the sky to try and find signal...and that's when I realized that some of the stars in the sky had started to fall- multiple, between 5 and 7 (I never counted them) started descending,glowing and pulsating, but still quite a ways away. I thought they were flares, but they stopped descending, and began to pulsate. At this instance we were very weary, confused, and frightened. The "stars" began to float over toward us, slowly moving directly over our heads without making a sound. Then they ascended after passing the camp for a moment- very quickly, though...not slowly, almost like they teleported. They hovered over a field not too far from the small opening we had made our camp in. The lights came closer, producing a light green aura in a circle. From the forest came three low glowing blue orbs, at that instance is when a low humming could be heard, and they came together and sat still. Then they ascended in between the "stars", which had now come together in a solid object, and they ascended even more; slowly at first, but then began to speed up, ascending at an angle.

About half a minute later two military jets passed over, very rapidly. The rest of our night was quiet, and awe filled. The next day, instead of sticking around to find out what might happen the next night, we decided to bail. We weren't the tough little punks we thought we were. - MUFON CMS

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Prehistoric 'Unicorn'

A large horned beast known as the 'Siberian unicorn' could be the origin of the modern unicorn legend.

Originally thought to have died out 350,000 years ago, Elasmotherium sibiricum would have been a sight to behold - a horned behemoth standing 6ft tall and measuring up to 15ft in length.

Now scientists have found new evidence to suggest that this unicorn-like creature may have actually survived until as recently as 26,000 years ago, meaning that it would have lived alongside modern humans for many thousands of years.

The discovery was made after fossil fragments were unearthed in Kazakhstan where an isolated population was thought to have survived long after the species had gone extinct everywhere else.

Many researchers believe that early findings of fossil Elasmotherium's may have been the origin of the mythical unicorn - a theory seemingly backed up by early palaeontologists who had heard stories from the Tatars of Siberia about a unicorn with a horn so large that it needed a sledge to move it.

Whether the legends really did originate with these remarkable beasts however remains unclear, but what is known is that these were very real creatures and that, as the global climate changed, they were driven in to smaller and smaller areas until they eventually disappeared entirely.

"Understanding of the past allows us to make more accurate predictions about natural processes in the near future," said Dr Andrei Shpanski. "It also concerns climate change." Read more at A real-life 'unicorn': Bizarre horned beast lived alongside humans 26,000 years ago and may be behind the legendary myth

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