WELCOME! | Log in | SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2018 | Forecast | Lottery Results | Contact Us | Send a news tip | Get our newsletter | RSS Feed
Gravity of Jupiter and Venus elongates Earth’s orbit every 405,000 years, Rutgers-led study confirms

Earth’s Orbital Changes Have Influenced Climate, Life Forms For at Least 215 Million Years

Rutgers University–New Brunswick professor Dennis Kent with part of a 1,700-foot-long rock core through the Chinle Formation in Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. The background includes boxed archives of cores from the Newark basin that were compared with the Arizona core. Photo: Nick Romanenko/Rutgers University
Posted

Every 405,000 years, gravitational tugs from Jupiter and Venus slightly elongate Earth’s orbit, an amazingly consistent pattern that has influenced our planet’s climate for at least 215 million years and allows scientists to more precisely date geological events like the spread of dinosaurs, according to a Rutgers-led study.

The findings are published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“It’s an astonishing result because this long cycle, which had been predicted from planetary motions through about 50 million years ago, has been confirmed through at least 215 million years ago,” said lead author Dennis V. Kent, a Board of Governors professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “Scientists can now link changes in the climate, environment, dinosaurs, mammals and fossils around the world to this 405,000-year cycle in a very precise way.”

The scientists linked reversals in the Earth’s magnetic field – when compasses point south instead of north and vice versa – to sediments with and without zircons (minerals with uranium that allow radioactive dating) as well as to climate cycles.

“The climate cycles are directly related to how the Earth orbits the sun and slight variations in sunlight reaching Earth lead to climate and ecological changes,” said Kent, who studies Earth’s magnetic field. “The Earth’s orbit changes from close to perfectly circular to about 5 percent elongated especially every 405,000 years.”

To read the entire report click here.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
Contents of this site are all © 2018 The Jersey Tomato Press | All rights reserved | Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions