Can our place in the Milky Way explain mass extinctions?

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Offline thedoc

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Greg Smith  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hello Chris,
Greetings from Dallas, Texas. Yours is the most informative, science-rich show on the air!
Here are my questions:
One hypothesis for the five great mass extinctions in past geological periods (Devonian, Permian, Cretaceous, etc.) was that they all correlated with our solar system's migration through the centre of our galactic spiral arm.

It's supposed that these migrations disrupted Earth's orbit and harmed life on our planet. Since the last great extinction event occurred 65 million years ago, where are we on the spiral arm and in which direction are we going through it?  I am thinking about extending my homeowner's insurance, but wanted to check with you first. J
Also, I'd like to know which way our solar system faces. How does the Sun's north pole compare to the galaxy's north pole?
Thanks  very much for your team's great work. I look forward to many more exciting podcasts!
Greg Smith

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 18/09/2012 13:30:02 by _system »