The research team, consisting of American and Brazilian experts, spoke about its hypothesis, according to which, a powerful explosion of a supernova, located at a distance of 163 light years, occurred 2.6 million years ago. This event led to the mass extinction of living creatures during the final stage of the Pliocene era. According to Adrian Melott of the University of Kansas, heavy charged particles gushing from space could destroy even the ancient sharks, which are called megalodons.
Scientists came to this conclusion by examining terrestrial rocks, whose age is 2.6 million years. Chemical analysis revealed a very high concentration of the iron-60 radioisotope, the nuclei of which fall on our planet with cosmic radiation. The amount of radioactive substance shows the power of cosmic rays – descending streams of particles (muons) generated in the Earth's atmosphere, which comes into contact with high-energy cosmic particles. The authors of the scientific work believe that the radiation leaked into the depths of ocean waters for a whole kilometer, irradiating with a high dose of creatures living there.
It is possible that there were several outbreaks of supernovae that caused deadly cosmic rays, but experts cannot say this at this stage of the study. Our star system, as established by astrophysics, is located on the outskirts of the so-called Local Bubble, which is a cosmic region with discharged hot gas. This small “piece” of the universe stretched for 300 light years. The main version of its appearance is associated with supernova explosions that occurred 10-12 million years ago. There is a possibility that the radiation rays that followed the flashes repelled from the walls of the bubble and were directed directly to the Earth. This process has been going on for millions of years.
. (tagsToTranslate) Supernova explosion (t) Cosmic radiation (t) Megalodons (t) Earth