A nearby supernova remnant.Credit: NASA

The authors of a forthcoming paper in the journal Astrobiology point to smoking-gun evidence of an extinction event some 2.6 million years ago that would have been caused by one or more supernova within 150 light years of Earth.

The research, led by Adrian Melott, professor emeritus of physics & astronomy at the University of Kansas, notes that muons (an elementary particle similar to an electron but with a much greater mass) would have penetrated at least hundreds of yards beneath the ocean surface. This would have potentially caused cumulatively lethal amounts of radiation to be absorbed by large marine animals, like the Megalodon, a fierce, shark-like creature thought to be at least the size of a school bus.

To simulate the effect, Melott and colleagues performed computer simulations of muons striking a 30 km water column with a height of some 100 km. The results of their work also help explains the global distribution of radioactive layers of iron-60 found on Earth’s seafloor. This new research may finally confirm the link between the global iron-60 deposits and supernovae in an interstellar region known as the Local Bubble.

The Local Bubble is a giant region in the nearby interstellar medium known to be some 300 light years in length composed of very, hot very low-density gas. It’s thought that supernovae explosions up to 10 million years ago cleared this cavity of much of its gas and dust.

Muons showering Earth may have spelled curtains for Megalodon, a school-bus-sized shark, 2.6 million years ago.Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Because iron-60 is radioactive, if it formed at the time our own planet formed, it would have been long gone by now. So, it had to be rained down on us, Melott notes.

The muons that likely inflicted the damage were most probably a byproduct of supernovae-triggered galactic cosmic rays interacting with earth’s atmosphere. Their energy was so high that they increased mutations and cancer within large animals in particular. The bigger the animal, Melott noted, the more the radiation dose went up. It’s thought that this radiation may have caused cancers and mutations, especially in larger animals.

Melott speculates that the supernova that may have triggered the cosmic rays that caused this mega-fauna extinction event at the so-called Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary would likely not have been a one-off event. Rather, he notes that a series of supernovae in the Local Bubble might have created a cascade of cosmic rays that could have rained down on Earth for up to 100,000 years.

An estimated 36 percent of Earth’s animal species were thought to become extinct due to these events. It’s thought that this muon radiation would have affected ocean marine life in more shallow coastal waters most.

The Local Bubble.Credit: Wikipedia

“There’s some debate about whether there was only one supernova really nearby or a whole chain of them,” Melott said in a statement. “I kind of favor a combo of the two — a big chain with one that was unusually powerful and close. If you look at iron-60 residue, there’s a huge spike 2.6 million years ago, but there’s excess scattered clear back 10 million years.”

What’s the ultimate takeaway from this latest research?

Melott says these potential supernovae offer a good explanation for this ancient marine mega-faunal extinction. “We now can get really definite about what the effects of radiation would be in a way that wasn’t possible before,” Melott said in a statement.

” readability=”72.989798657718″>
< div _ ngcontent-c14 ="" innerhtml ="

A cosmic rain of ocean-penetrating, high-energy muon particles most likely triggered the termination of a Pleistocene-era mega-shark, brand-new “slam dunk” proof recommends.

A close-by supernova residue. Credit: NASA

The authors of an upcoming paper in the journal Astrobiology indicate smoking-gun proof of a termination occasion some 2.6 million years ago that would have been brought on by several supernova within 150 light years of Earth.

The research study, led by Adrian Melott, teacher emeritus of physics & astronomy at the University of Kansas, keeps in mind that muons (a primary particle comparable to an electron however with a much higher mass) would have permeated a minimum of numerous backyards underneath the ocean surface area. This would have possibly triggered cumulatively deadly quantities of radiation to be soaked up by big marine animals, like the Megalodon, a strong, shark-like animal believed to be at least the size of a school bus.

(** )

To mimic the result, Melott and associates carried out computer system simulations of muons striking a 30 km water column with a height of some 100 km. The outcomes of their work likewise assist describes the worldwide circulation of radioactive layers of iron-60 discovered in the world’s seafloor. This brand-new research study might lastly validate the link in between the worldwide iron-60 deposits and supernovae in an interstellar area called the Regional Bubble.

The Regional Bubble is a huge area in the close-by interstellar medium understood to be some 300 light years in length made up of extremely, hot extremely low-density gas. It’s believed that supernovae surges as much as 10 million years ago cleared this cavity of much of its gas and dust.

Muons showering Earth might have spelled drapes for Megalodon, a school-bus-sized shark, 2.6 million years back. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Due to the fact that iron-60 is radioactive, if it formed at the time our own world formed, it would have been long passed now. So, it needed to be drizzled down on us, Melott notes.

The muons that likely caused the damage were most likely a by-product of supernovae-triggered stellar cosmic rays engaging with earth’s environment. Their energy was so high that they increased anomalies and cancer within big animals in specific. The larger the animal, Melott kept in mind, the more the radiation dosage increased. It’s believed that this radiation might have triggered cancers and anomalies, particularly in bigger animals.

Melott hypothesizes that the supernova that might have set off the cosmic rays that triggered this mega-fauna termination occasion at the so-called Pliocene-Pleistocene border would likely not have actually been a one-off occasion. Rather, he keeps in mind that a series of supernovae in the Regional Bubble may have produced a waterfall of cosmic rays that might have drizzled down on Earth for as much as 100,000 years.

An approximated 36 percent of Earth’s animal types were believed to end up being extinct due to these occasions. It’s believed that this muon radiation would have impacted ocean marine life in more shallow seaside waters most.

(********* )

The Regional Bubble. Credit: Wikipedia

(******* )

” There’s some argument about whether there was just one supernova actually close-by or an entire chain of them,” Melott stated in a declaration. “I sort of favor a combination of the 2– a huge chain with one that was abnormally effective and close. If you take a look at iron-60 residue, there’s a big spike 2.6 million years back, however there’s excess scattered clear back 10 million years.”

What’s the supreme takeaway from this most current research study?

Melott states these possible supernovae provide an excellent description for this ancient marine mega-faunal termination. “We now can get actually certain about what the results of radiation would remain in a manner in which wasn’t possible prior to,” Melott stated in a declaration.

” readability =”72
989798657718″ >

A cosmic rain of ocean-penetrating, high-energy muon particles most likely triggered the termination of a Pleistocene-era mega-shark, brand-new “slam dunk” proof recommends.

.

.

A close-by supernova residue. Credit: NASA

.

.

The authors of an upcoming paper in the journal Astrobiology indicate smoking-gun proof of a termination occasion some 2.6 million years ago that would have been brought on by several supernova within 150 light years of Earth.

The research study, led by Adrian Melott, teacher emeritus of physics & astronomy at the University of Kansas, keeps in mind that muons (a primary particle comparable to an electron however with a much higher mass) would have permeated a minimum of numerous backyards underneath the ocean surface area. This would have possibly triggered cumulatively deadly quantities of radiation to be soaked up by big marine animals, like the Megalodon, a strong, shark-like animal believed to be at least the size of a school bus.

To mimic the result, Melott and associates carried out computer system simulations of muons striking a 30 km water column with a height of some 100 km. The outcomes of their work likewise assist describes the worldwide circulation of radioactive layers of iron – 60 discovered in the world’s seafloor. This brand-new research study might lastly validate the link in between the worldwide iron – 60 deposits and supernovae in an interstellar area called the Regional Bubble.

The Regional Bubble is a huge area in the close-by interstellar medium understood to be some 300 light years in length made up of extremely, hot extremely low-density gas. It’s believed that supernovae surges as much as 10 million years ago cleared this cavity of much of its gas and dust.

.

.

Muons showering Earth might have spelled drapes for Megalodon, a school-bus-sized shark, 2.6 million years back. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

.

.

Due to the fact that iron – 60 is radioactive, if it formed at the time our own world formed, it would have been long passed now. So, it needed to be drizzled down on us, Melott notes.

The muons that likely caused the damage were most likely a by-product of supernovae-triggered stellar cosmic rays engaging with earth’s environment. Their energy was so high that they increased anomalies and cancer within big animals in specific. The larger the animal, Melott kept in mind, the more the radiation dosage increased. It’s believed that this radiation might have triggered cancers and anomalies, particularly in bigger animals.

Melott hypothesizes that the supernova that might have set off the cosmic rays that triggered this mega-fauna termination occasion at the so-called Pliocene-Pleistocene border would likely not have actually been a one-off occasion. Rather, he keeps in mind that a series of supernovae in the Regional Bubble may have produced a waterfall of cosmic rays that might have drizzled down on Earth for as much as 100, 000 years.

An approximated 36 percent of Earth’s animal types were believed to end up being extinct due to these occasions. It’s believed that this muon radiation would have impacted ocean marine life in more shallow seaside waters most.

.

.

The Regional Bubble. Credit: Wikipedia

.

.

“There’s some argument about whether there was just one supernova actually close-by or an entire chain of them,” Melott stated in a declaration. “I sort of favor a combination of the 2– a huge chain with one that was abnormally effective and close. If you take a look at iron – 60 residue, there’s a big spike 2.6 million years back, however there’s excess scattered clear back 10 million years.”

What’s the supreme takeaway from this most current research study?

Melott states these possible supernovae provide an excellent description for this ancient marine mega-faunal termination. “We now can get actually certain about what the results of radiation would remain in a manner in which wasn’t possible prior to,” Melott stated in a declaration.

.