An Extraterrestrial Influence During the Current Glacial-Interglacial
OXFORD UNIV (UNITED KINGDOM) DEPT OF PHYSICS
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Evidence is presented for a category of inner Solar System fragmentation events involving substantially devolatilized cometary bodies which not only give rise to dust singularities responsible for tails, antitails and trails but also provide the bulk of the fragile meteoroidal material reaching the Earth. The most prominent of these events are apparently associated with a swarm of such bodies that moves within the 72 Jovian mean motion resonance. Assuming the material released by these events perturbs the atmospheres of Sun and Earth attention is drawn to modulations of the climate during the late Pleistocene-Holocene i.e. since approx. 20000 BP which are in accordance with the growth pattern and cosmogenic signature of the bristlecone pine and appear to be due to the swarm and its source. It follows that the solar-terrestrial relationship may be largely sustained by dust erosion events. To facilitate further astronomical study, we tabulated forthcoming encounters with the swarm and give a short term orbit for the putative source, emphasizing that in the longer term the orbit is essentially chaotic and not reliably predicted. We indicate the likely character of the source in the past and consider also the future celestial hazard to civilization.