Mass Extinction And The Milky Way: Article Analysis

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The dinosaurs were killed in a freak accident caused by a wild meteor slamming into the Earth, or were they? Was the meteor that killed the dinosaurs really just a random event or did Earth’s location in the galaxy play a part in their deaths? Crawford, Filipoic, Horner, Tothill and White have combined their minds to explain their hypothesis about how Earth’s mass extinctions are caused by the solar system’s movement through the Milky Way galaxy’s spiral arms in the article titled, Mass Extinction and the Structure of the Milky Way.
In all Earth’s history there have been five known mass extinctions, 415, 322, 300, 145, and 33 million years ago (Crawford et al. 2013). The oldest mass extinction happening over 415 million years ago is thought to be caused by a short, but severe ice age while the second oldest, occurring over 322 million years ago almost wiped out the trilobites. The mass extinction is believed to have been caused by the newly evolved plants on the land which released nutrients into the sea, that may have caused algal blooms which used oxygen out of the ocean, suffocating the trilobites and other bottom dwellers. About 300 million years ago, another mass extinction, known as “the Great Dying”, because it was the worst extinction ever. this extreme mass extinction set …show more content…

The solar system in which Earth is located travels faster than the spiral arms of the Milky Way. When Earth is located inside one of the spiral arms there is a greater density of stars. As the solar system nears a star, the gravitational pull from the star could disrupt the Oort cloud. the Oort cloud is a cluster of comets loosely bound to the Sun by gravity left over from the creation of the solar system. If a star is big enough or close enough to disrupt a comet from the Oort cloud, the comet could crash into the

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