A cosmic cloud could change life on Earth, according to new research by scientists

The last ice age ended in California 12 thousand years ago. Previously, glaciers stopped due to periods of climate warming.

Scientists look for the causes of glaciers in changes in our planet’s tilt and rotation, shifting tectonic plates, volcanic eruptions, and the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

But new research suggests it may also play a role Extraterrestrial influences Location specifically Solar System In our galaxy.

Merav OferA Boston University astronomy professor and Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellow has found evidence that about two million years ago, the solar system encountered an interstellar cloud so dense that it could disrupt the solar wind.

The cosmic cloud caused climate change two million years ago

According to Ofer and her colleagues, the site sun in the space It can shape history Land To a much greater extent than previously thought.

The entire solar system is surrounded by the heliosphere, a protective shield from charged particles emitted by the sun, known as the solar wind. NASA talks about a “giant bubble”Which reaches far beyond Pluto’s orbit and protects it from cosmic radiation that can cause mutations in DNA and even prevent the development of life on Earth.

Professor Offer’s research suggests that the dust cloud has compressed Heliosphere So that Earth and other planets in the solar system were briefly outside their atmosphere.

– This work is the first of its kind to quantitatively demonstrate that the Sun has encountered an object from outside the solar system – said Over, who pointed out that This had an impact on the Earth’s climate.

Research the solar system using specialized equipment

Ofer and her colleagues decided to go back in time and use advanced computer models to create it A visualization of the position of the Sun, the heliosphere, and the rest of the solar system Two million years ago. The researchers also mapped the local band of cold clouds, which is a series of large, dense, very cold clouds that are mainly composed of hydrogen atoms.

Simulations performed showed that one located near the end of this band, called the Local Lynx of Cold Cloud, could have collided with the heliosphere.

As Ofer pointed out, if this happened, Earth would be exposed to the interstellar medium, where gas and dust mix with the remains of elements resulting from star explosions, including iron and plutonium.

Our cosmic neighborhood outside the solar system rarely affects life on Earth – noted Avi Loeb, director of the Institute for Theory and Computation at Harvard University and co-author of the article.

Research is underway to determine the position of the sun

According to the researchers, the results have opened a new window on the relationship between the evolution of life on Earth and our cosmic neighborhood. On the other hand, Over determined that the external pressure from the lynx was local to the cold cloud It can block the heliosphere for several hundred to million years.

According to Professor Over, although it is impossible to accurately determine the impact of such clouds on Earth, there are many other cold clouds in the interstellar medium that the Sun has likely encountered over billions of years. As I mentioned, you’ll likely encounter more In about a million years.

Merav Over and her colleagues are currently working to determine the position of the Sun Seven million years ago or even earlier.

The effect that interstellar clouds may have on radiation reaching Earth, as well as the atmosphere, climate and formation of life on our planet is also being studied.

Jawkowski in “Guest of Events”: I saw refugees. They didn’t run away/Polsat News/Polsat News

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