There's a popular theory about the comets that wiped out the dinosaurs and caused other cyclical mass extinctions on Earth: they might be under the gravitational control of a star called Nemesis. A new study shows that the entire idea may be a fantasy.
If there's ever an example designed to shows that PR works, it's the concept of Nemesis. Nemesis is an unknown star, or other large astronomical object, that is locked in an eccentric orbit of our sun. It plows through the Oort Cloud, a massive group of asteroids, every 27 million years, and its motion and gravity cause comets to race toward Earth, causing global extinctions. This is a theory, and a name, so cool that people were just a little bit disappointed that doubt was cast on it last year when the extinction patterns proved too regular for the eratic orbit that Nemesis would have to have. Better to risk mass death, sacrificing ourselves and everybody we ever loved, than to give up our own personal Nemesis.