The cosmos has a huge impact on our planet and its inhabitants. The most important celestial body for the Earth is, of course, the sun. It is thanks to the sun that the Earth maintains a comfortable temperature for life. If suddenly the sun goes out, the planet’s temperature will drop to -240C for a few years.
However, the Sun is also a source of life-damaging ultraviolet radiation and solar wind. UV radiation is largely blocked by the ozone layer of the atmosphere, while the Earth’s magnetic field protects us from the solar wind.
From time to time there are powerful solar flares (magnetic storms) which cause malfunctions in electrical equipment. During the most powerful storm of 1859 there was a massive failure of telegraphs, and the northern lights were visible even in Cuba. Changes in solar activity largely determine the planet’s climate. It is known that the Sun has several cycles of activity at once. The best studied is the 11-year cycle, but studies show that in addition to it, there are secular and even millennial cycles. Perhaps it is related to them, both the big ice ages of antiquity, and the small ice ages, the last of which occurred in the XIV-XIX centuries.
The Moon also has a great influence on the planet. It is because of it that the tides of water appear in the ocean. There is evidence that the phases of our satellite affect some animals: bees, birds and fish. The influence of the moon on humans is insignificant. All theories that births and accidents are more frequent in a full moon, and people have more frequent mental disorders, are not confirmed by science. However, calculations show that the Moon’s gravity reduces the likelihood of Earth’s collision with asteroids. Also, there are studies, according to which the Moon seriously influenced the emergence of life on our planet. Life on Earth is periodically affected by guests from outer space – comets and asteroids. Every day a huge number of small asteroids fall to Earth, which, however, almost always burn up in the atmosphere. However, there are periodic collisions with very large bodies that have catastrophic consequences.
Both the dinosaur extinction and the largest Permian extinction in history are thought to have been caused by meteorites larger than 10 km in diameter. Smaller asteroids left many craters on the Earth’s surface, some of which became lakes.
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