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Out Of Mind » SOLAR & PLANETARY ALERTS & INFO » ATMOSPHERIC CHANGES » First Biological Evidence of a Supernova Explosion Found on Earth

First Biological Evidence of a Supernova Explosion Found on Earth

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First Biological Evidence of a Supernova Explosion Found on Earth

Filed under: Discoveries, Discoveries, Earth Watch Report, Space — Leave a comment

May 10, 2013

While there is, on average, only one supernova per galaxy per
century, there is something on the order of 100 billion galaxies in the observable Universe. Taking 10 billion years for the age of the Universe (it’s actually 13.7 billion, but stars didn’t form for the first few hundred million), Dr. Richard Mushotzky of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,
derived a figure of 1 billion supernovae per year, or 30 supernovae per
second in the observable Universe. Now, scientists at the Technische
Universitaet Muenchen have discovered the first proven biological
evidence of a nearby supernova explosion on earth, finding hints of
supernova iron in bacteria microfossils.

Researchers of the Cluster of Excellence Origin and Structure of the
Universe at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), found a
radioactive iron isotope in fossils of iron-loving bacteria that they
trace back to a supernova in our cosmic neighborhood. This is the first
proven biological signature of a starburst on our earth. The age
determination of the deep-drill core from the Pacific Ocean showed that
the supernova must have occurred about 2.2 million years ago, roughly
around the time when the modern human developed.

Most of the chemical elements have their origin in core collapse
supernovae. When a star ends its life in a gigantic starburst, it throws
most of its mass into space. The radioactive iron isotope Fe-60 is
produced almost exclusively in such supernovae. Because its half-life of
2.62 million years is short compared to the age of our solar system, no
supernova iron should be present on Earth. Therefore, any discovery of
Fe-60 on Earth would indicate a supernova in our cosmic neighborhood. In
the year 2004 scientists at TU Muenchen
discovered Fe-60 on Earth for the first time in a ferromanganese crust
obtained from the floor of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Its geological
dating puts the event around 2.2 million years ago.

Read Full Article Here

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