Dec 14, 2018 | Updated: 09:51 PM EST

90-Million-Year-Old Sedimentary Rocks In Colorado Reveal The Evidence Of A 'Chaotic Solar System'

Feb 23, 2017 07:50 AM EST


Layered rocks of Colorado revealed the evidence of “Chaotic Solar System” for the first time in history. Scientists confirmed the theory while Plumbing up a 90 million-year-old layer cake of sedimentary rock in Colorado. This theory explains how planets behave in their orbits around the sun.

Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Northwestern University started working on the theory that was first proposed in 1989. The theory represents, small variations in the Solar system produce big changes in planet's climate that could be reflected in the rocks of Earth. Scientists published about their theories in the journal of Nature.

This experiment was led by Stephen Meyers, UW-Madison Professor of Geoscience and Brad Sageman, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences from Northwestern University. Their team discovered 87 million-year-old signature of a "resonance transition" between Mars and Earth by Using evidence from alternating layers of limestone. Lead researcher Stephen Meyers said in a statement,“The impact of astronomical cycles on climate can be quite large. Astronomical theory permits a very detailed evaluation of past climate events that may provide an analog for future climate”.

ScienceDaily reported that the phenomenon occurs when two orbiting planetary bodies pull each other. These small but regular strokes in a planet’s orbit apply huge changes on the orientation and the location of a planet. Prof. Meyers, Prof. Sageman and graduate student of UW-Madison, Chao Ma looked into the geologic record aka the Niobrara Formation in Colorado to find out the signature of resonance transition.

The formation was laid down layer by layer as sediment on the bottom of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway for tens of millions of years. By using the radioisotopic dating process Ma, Meyers, and Sageman found the Mars-Earth resonance transition. This method is often used by Geoscientists to find absolute ages of rocks by monitoring radioactive decay of elements in the rocks. Later the studies were supported by grants from the National Science Foundation.This discovery not only offers a better understanding of the mechanics of the solar system but also helps to understand the link between orbital variations and climate change over geologic time scales.

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