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The sun’s movement through the Milky Way regularly sends comets hurtling into the inner solar system – coinciding with mass life extinctions on earth, a new study claims.
Scientists at the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology built a computer model of our solar system’s movement and found that it “bounces” up and down through the plane of the galaxy. As we pass through the densest part of the plane, gravitational forces from the surrounding giant gas and dust clouds dislodge comets from their paths. The comets plunge into the solar system, some of them colliding with the earth.
Our present position in the galaxy suggests we are now very close to another such period.