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Galactic Dust Storm May Also Be Heating Our Solar System


By James Donahue

July 2005


I received an interesting and alarming letter from science writer Paul Winter who notes that our solar system is being hit with a massive cosmic dust cloud from an ancient supernova event that could be causing a warming of all of the planets in our solar system.


Winter, who has been researching data to support this theory, asked about the source of information used in one of my stories, Will Global Warming Lead To Arctic Winter? (2003). In that story I said that the NASA research vessel Ulysses has been measuring cosmic dust and found that three times more of it in the Solar System than existed 10 years earlier. I said some scientists suggest that the galactic dust may have enough of an effect on the Earth’s atmosphere to cause of the next ice age.


Winter disagrees. He points to a theory proposed by Dr. Paul La Violette, author of Earth Under Fire, in which La Violette proposes that cosmic dust storms can heat planets and such a storm may have brought an abrupt end to the last Ice Age 14,650 years ago.


Winter quotes a reference to La Violette’s work: “Geological records support ancient myths and legends telling of an Ice Age that abruptly ended in a period of excessive warmth. Climatologists were stymied in that they could not explain what caused the earth to warm up to present intergalactic temperatures at a time when ice sheets still covered the surface of the planet. La Violette presents evidence that severe weather changes during this period were global in nature and that global warming was due to a galactic superwave-induced cosmic dust invasion that created an interplanetary hothouse effect.”


La Violette presented this work, which was his doctoral dissertation, in 1983 at the American Geophysical Union meeting in Baltimore and at the Meteorological Society meeting that year in Mainz, Germany. He also presented data indicating that debris from a nearby North Polar Spur supernova remnant is presently engulfing the solar system.


In effect, La Violette was warning of a global warming catastrophe striking Earth before other scientists had it on their minds. In fact, the article noted that La Violette’s contemporaries were “not concerned with the threat” and shared “the prevailing view . . . that the solar system resides in a predominantly clear interstellar environment.”


Winter’s website,, devotes a section to the effect of this galactic storm on our solar system and our own planet.


He draws from numerous scientific papers that show an alarming parallel between this galactic dust storm, its intensity, and the weather patterns on Earth. He also shows an increase in sun spot activity and solar storms that also coincide with the intensity of the solar dust invasion.


For example, prior to the entrance of the debris from that supernova into our solar system, from 1650 to about 1730, there were very few sunspots recorded. At the same time, Earth was experiencing a colder than normal period that has been remembered as the “Little Ice Age.” Rivers froze that were normally ice-free and snow fields remained at lower altitudes year-around. It was normal for the Great Lakes to freeze completely over during those winters, and early settlers told of crossing the lakes by horse and buggy.


Winter then draws from a New Scientist story, published in 2003, that reports a 1,825 percent increase in sunspots from 1940 to 2003 by comparison to the previous 1,150 years combined. Those were the years that the first particles of the cosmic dust cloud were entering our solar system.


Winter notes that during the year 2000 “cosmic dust in our solar system increased threefold. The following years saw exceptionally severe weather such as the 2003 hurricane Isabel with wind speeds over 300 miles per hour (second highest ever recorded). Also in 2003 Arkansas was heavily damaged in one of the most intense outbreaks of tornadoes in 53 years of record keeping, and a heat wave in Europe killed 12,000.”


Winter warns that this was only the first volley of this galactic dust storm. He quotes a recent story from that warns the dust storm is expected to increase by another factor of three between 2005 and 2013.


If he is correct Winter believes “we are in for a rough ride. Of greatest concern is volcanic activity which has increased 500 percent over the past 100 years.

The timing of this cosmic dust increase is especially disturbing because the humans have overpopulated and polluted the planet, filled its atmosphere with chemicals and soot that are believed to be intensifying the global warming effect, and broken critical holes in a protective ozone layer that shields life on the planet from deadly solar rays.

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