Mysterious particles of Dark Matter trigger volcanic eruptions and comet strikes on Earth, study claims
- Scientists have found a correlation between extinction events on Earth to the path our solar system takes through crowded areas of the Milky Way
- The galactic disk of the Milky Way contains dense clumps of dark matter
- Our planet is thought to encounter these roughly every 30 million years
- Researchers claim the dark matter can throw comets into our solar system
- It also may heat up the core of our planet and trigger geological activity
- Scientists say this may explain the timings of mass extinctions on Earth
- Recent encounters with dark matter may have triggered a comet shower
WHAT IS DARK MATTER?
Dark matter surrounds galaxies across the universe, and is invisible because it does not reflect light.
It cannot be seen directly with telescopes, but astronomers know it to be out there because of the gravitational effects it has on the matter we can see.
The European Space Agency says: ‘Shine a torch in a completely dark room, and you will see only what the torch illuminates.
‘That does not mean that the room around you does not exist.
‘Similarly we know dark matter exists but have never observed it directly.’
Scientists are fairly sure it exists and is crucial to the universe, but they do not know what it looks like or where to find it.