Earth’s Biggest “Nemesis” Debunked
July 1, 2012 1 Comment
Scientists have recently discovered that there is no so-called “death star” on the edge of the solar system throwing comets at the Earth, as some have come to believe. A new study has found that the star “Nemesis” which some scientists believed existed, is probably nothing more than a myth.
It was believed that the Nemesis star drifts through space and disturbs comets in the Oort Cloud, a cloud of comets, sending a large number of them hurling towards Earth. This existence of this star was used to explain the mass extinctions that the Earth has seen in its past, such as the giant impact that was thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The theory has now been debunked, leading researchers to doubt that Nemesis has ever existed.
Researchers had a problem finding a periodical pattern in giant impacts on Earth stemming back through our planet’s 4.5 billion year history. During the 1980′s, experts believed that the catastrophic events that occurred every 26 million years over the last 250 million years was no coincidence. The researchers noted that there was a companion star to the sun that could be responsible for the pattern if it made regular passes near the Oort Cloud. After studying the crater record on Earth, there was no evidence for Nemesis, but what remained was the question of whether or not impacts have become more frequent over the past 250 million years.
Many scientists still say that it is possible that the sun could have an undiscovered companion lurking far away, such as a red dwarf star or an odd failed star, known as a brown dwarf. These scientists believe that it is unlikely that such a star has wreaked havoc on Earth however.
Either way you look at it, the Earth is still extremely vulnerable to impact from a groups of comets, and we might not be able to see one coming before it is too late. The entire universe operates in a state of chaos, and nothing is completely predictable. With the supposed “end of the world” not too far away in December of this year, much speculation has been made about what might happen. Will there be an “event”, or will this be another repeat of the Y2K scare? It remains to be unseen, but these researchers and scientists strongly believe, with good evidence, that Earth won’t fall victim to a death star.
I hope they are right. We will just have to wait to find out.