Astronomers have long speculated that the early solar system was not how it is now. Back then, the solar system was more chaotic. A chaotic solar system now finds new evidence.
The evidence for a chaotic early solar system has been found in an unlikely place. A team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Northwestern University have found evidence for it in a layer of sedimentary rock in Colorado.
The chaotic solar system theory first came out in 1989. The theory was proposed in order to account for the variations that have been discovered in the solar system. These variations were present for millions of years and had also an impact on the Earth. One of those effects changed the Earth's climate.
The impact made by these variations can be found in rocks. The evidence can be seen in layers of limestone and shale that are millions of years old. The study is being made by Stephen Meyers, professor of Geoscience from the University of Wisconsin-Madison together with Brad Sageman, professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences from Northwestern University.
From their study, they have found evidence of a resonance transition in the rocks. A resonance transition is caused in what is known as the butterfly effect in chaos theory. That means that small changes in nonlinear systems will, in time, have larger effects.
The resonance transition can be seen when two objects in space tug at one another. This can happen when a planet passes by in relative proximity to the orbit of another one. This can have an effect over time, with small changes gradually accumulating. In the case of the Earth, the changes happened that amount of radiation from the Sun had also been altered. This alteration changed the Earth's climate, according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison's site.
Finding evidence of the resonance transition has led Meyers and Sageman to the Niobrara Formation in Colorado. Joining them there is graduate student Chao Ma. The area has been chosen because it has a pronounced rhythmic rock layering, This is due to it having more clay and calcium carbonate in it, as explained by Meyers.
The study shows the connection between sedimentation and climate change, as Science Daily reports. Through this study it has been found that the Earth has changed its climate due to the effects of resonance transition. This in turn shows that the Earth has been affected by the chaotic nature of the early solar system.
The early solar system has been chaotic. Now more evidence could possibly support this. A chaotic solar system finds new evidence. Recently also SpaceX has launched a rocket on a historic NASA pad.