A researcher has postulated that mass extinctions due to comets may have a link with Planet X.
Periodic mass extinctions on earth are something that have been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Normally, these are due to large meteors that occasionally punctuate the eons.
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Thus a large number of species get wiped out and the evolutionary tree undergoes a pruning of sorts. Life begins once again from the remaining relics and the earth heaves a sigh of relief. All this has been linked to a ninth planet named Planet X.
This planet is a hypothetical entity. It has not been detected or seen. Yet its presence is said to exist since it can be felt by the effects it has on the various phenomena that take place on the earth.
The comet showers that are instigated by this invisible Planet X cause mass extinctions on earth every 27 million years or so. It’s been a century since astronomers began the quest to find Planet X yet until now the wild goose chase has yielded zilch in the way of anything positive or substantial.
It remains an elusive and mysterious world rather in the same manner as the Loch Ness Monster or Big Foot.
However, recently researchers found something that corroborates its existence. Orbital inconsistencies found in the objects in the Kuiper Belt show the hunch to be right on target.
The Kuiper Belt is a disc-shaped area of comets and other huge heavenly bodies that lies a little way beyond Neptune. Planet X could be ten times the size of the earth and a thousand times as far away from our sun as the earth is.
The researcher responsible for the addition to our knowledge first published a study based on his hypothesis in 1985. The research led to queries about whether the dinosaurs were killed off by a gigantic meteor that destroyed 99% of all species on earth a long time ago.
Way back then Planet X was one of three postulates that were made regarding the periodic mass extinctions. The other two hypotheses which are the presence of a sister star to the sun and the vertical oscillations of the sun were rejected later on.
This left behind the hypothesis concerning Planet X. As Planet X moves through the Kuiper Belt every 27 million years, it sends forth a volley of comets our way which are responsible for the periodic extinctions on our planet.
The paleontological record shows this pattern of intermittent extinctions and this much regarding the phenomenon cannot be denied. Yet Planet X remains a hidden world whose actuality is still in doubt.
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The findings of this study were published in the January issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.