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Up to now, researchers have been able to calculate the relative motions of the planets and their possible effects on our climate with reasonable reliability back only about 60 million years — a relative eyeblink in the 4.5 billion-plus life of Earth.⁣ 🌍⁣ This week, a team of researchers has pushed the record way back, identifying key aspects of the planets’ motions from a period around 200 million years ago. The team is led by geologist and paleontologist Paul Olsen of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who has doggedly been pursuing this problem since the 1980s. ⁣ 🌠⁣ Link in bio to read about the Geological Orrery (?!) and what it means about predictions of Earth's future, both terrestrially and as a part of our solar system.⁣ ⁣ 📷: Digital elevation map of sediment strata formed on a lake bottom some 220 million years ago, near present day Flemington, N.J. The lakebed was later tilted so that its cross section now faces the sky. Purple sections are ridges — remains of hard, compressed sediments formed when climate was wet and the lake deep; alternating greenish sections are lower areas made of eroded-out softer sediments from dryer times. Each pair represents 405,000 years. Groups of ridges in lower part of image manifest a separate 1.7 million-year cycle that has today grown to 2.4 million years. The 40-square-mile area is dissected by parts of the modern Raritan and Neshanic rivers (blue). (LIDAR image by U.S. Geological Survey; digital colorization by Paul Olsen)⁣ ⁣ #orrery #geologicalorrery #predictingthefuture #space #geology #lamontrocks #solarsystem #planet #science #earth #photooftheday #climatechange

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