Researchers Update the Distance at Which a Supernova Would Lead to Mass Extinctions on Earth

Lawrence — In 2016, researchers published “slam dunk” evidence, based on iron-60 isotopes in ancient seabed, that supernovae buffeted the Earth — one of them about 2.6 million years ago. University of Kansas researcher Adrian Melott, professor of physics and astronomy, supported those findings in Nature with an associated letter, titled “Supernovae in the neighborhood.” Melott has followed up since … Continue reading

Brightest Galactic Gamma Ray Blast Ever Detected Hits Earth Now

The vulnerability planet Earth possesses has never been so certain since December 2004 when a mammoth explosion occurred in space. RARE GALACTIC EXPLOSION THREATENS EARTH The good: the explosion occurred so far away (50,000 light-years to be exact) that there was only a slight and brief alteration to Earth’s atmosphere. The bad: who is to say the explosion could not … Continue reading

All Life Could Be ‘Extinguished’ By A Gamma Ray Burst

Despite the obvious doom and gloom associated with mass extinctions, they have a tendency to capture our imagination. After all, the sudden demise of the dinosaurs, presumably due to an asteroid strike, is quite an enthralling story. But not all mass extinctions are quite as dramatic and not all have an easily identified culprit. The Ordovician extinction—one of the “big … Continue reading

Debris From Ancient Cosmic Supernovae Found In Pacific Ocean

A team of German scientists based out of the Technical University of Munich recently began a survey of ocean floor composition to study magnetotactic bacteria. These bacteria orient around magnetic fields and can absorb metals such as iron, allowing a window into the mysterious world of Earth’s magnetic fields. In a surprising find, these scientists’ recent research published in Proceedings … Continue reading

Did Supernova Explosion Contribute to Earth Mass Extinction?

A faraway supernova explosion may have contributed to a minor mass extinction here on Earth 2.59 million years ago, a new study suggests. Fast-moving, charged particles called cosmic rays that were blasted out by asupernova may have played a role in the climatic changes that apparently led to a die-off at the end of the Pliocene epoch and the start … Continue reading