American researchers believe they have discovered the cause of the ice age on Earth.

Over the past two million years, there have been several ice ages on Earth, and researchers have long been interested in what causes these ages to form. According to researchers from Boston University and Harvard University, the reason is that it is in the clouds, not on the ground.

the Interesting geometry According to his report, experts used data from a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite called Gaia to study the path the solar system took in the Milky Way over the past 2-3 million years. the Nature astronomy In a publication published in the scientific journal, the researchers wrote that during the flight, the Sun's heliosphere came into direct contact with a dense cloud of interstellar gas called the Lynx Local Cold Cloud (LLCC).

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The heliosphere is the first line of defense for the solar system: a magnetic bubble inflated by the solar wind to such a massive size that all the planets of the solar system fall inside this bubble. The heliosphere also provides protection from some cosmic radiation.

According to scientist Merav Ofer of Boston University, LLCC has pushed the heliosphere boundary back into the inner solar system, exposing Earth to the extreme cold of interstellar space. According to Ofer, this is the first study to show that an extrasolar body has affected Earth's climate.

According to the study, the solar system is still only approaching LLCC. Had he encountered it, it would have had extremely serious consequences for life on Earth. According to calculations, our planet has lost its protection and will be completely at the mercy of interstellar space.

Because of the weak heliosphere, radioactive iron and plutonium left over from exploding stars can easily reach Earth. Tests show that the amount of isotopes of the two elements increased on Earth during the period when the climate cooled.

According to the researchers, it is not clear how long Earth had to withstand this exposure. This could have ranged from a few hundred to a million years, but after the solar system moved away from the gas cloud, the heliosphere was restored.

Experts believe that this was not the only encounter with the cold gas cloud, and perhaps it was not the last.

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