Dinosaurs have gone from the earth for 65 million years now. Yet, they continue to intrigue and fill spaces in books, blogs and columns by their sheer absence. It is common knowledge that dinosaurs could not cope up with the turbulence created by a giant asteroid and eventually perished in the trial. While the asteroid theory of extinction is very popular, how many times have you wondered about the real cause of their extinction?
The red face behind the asteroid
If some researchers and scientists are to be believed, there is a red face behind the object that pelted the giant asteroid towards the earth – that of a red dwarf. Often dubbed as ‘Nemesis’, this star is hypothetically the other in a twin star arrangement – the first being the sun. Now, the sun is a massive thing you could see even if you are at the edge of the solar system. So how could its twin evade attention? And how on galaxy, could it cause the death of the dinosaurs? Let’s find out.
The red dwarf orbits the sun
The Nemesis hypothesis suggests that like all binary star systems, the Sun and the Nemesis orbit each other. Since Nemesis is a red dwarf and is very tiny when compared to the sun, the center of mass in this binary pair is very near the sun. This makes the sun have a small orbit and the nemesis is thrown into a giant elliptical orbit. The hypothesis further claims that the elliptical orbit is designed in such a way that the sun is located near one far end of the orbit.
Once in a blue moon
Every 26 million years, nemesis reaches one far end of its elliptical orbit and comes very near the sun. It is here that all the trouble ensues. The extinction of dinosaurs from the earth could well have been caused due to the gravitational impact of the nemesis in the asteroid belt.
The cosmic history of your solar system suggests that every 26 million years, a heavy bombardment of asteroids happens on the inner planets. The most natural evidence of this, is the volley of craters we find on the moon. The dinosaurs disappeared 26 million years ago. So if scientific estimates are to be banked upon, the nemesis is on its way already.
How nemesis happens?
As of now, the solar system sits is near harmony. The asteroids in the oort cloud are held in their orbits through the gravitational and tidal forces of the sun and the outer gas giants. But whenever nemesis comes, it disturbs the harmony of the oort cloud, sending them into wild orbits (as in the case of Planetary Armageddon). As it has happened in the past, the earth might just fall in the line of fire.
The extinction of dinosaurs was the result of such an event. The nemesis was at its peak. The asteroid eroded earth’s atmosphere and mantle and caused gigantic turbulence, leading to the extinction of one of the most awe-inspiring species of the planet.