Frequency of nearby supernovae and climatic and biological catastrophes

  title={Frequency of nearby supernovae and climatic and biological catastrophes},
  author={David H. Clark and W. H. Mccrea and Francis Richard Stephenson},
MCCREA1,2 has proposed that the encounter of the Solar System with a dense cloud of interstellar material during its passage through a spiral arm of the Galaxy may produce such climatic catastrophes on Earth as the ice epochs. His thesis, an extension of several earlier investigations3,4,5, is based on the expected effect on the solar constant of an increased accretion rate. Unfortunately, the cloud density necessary to produce the required variation is 105 to 107 cm−3, and although clouds with… 
Cosmic rays and and ancient catastrophes
A NUMBER of suggestions have been made1–3 that encounters of the solar system with extra-solar phenomena in earlier epochs led to climatic and biological catastrophes. Most recently Whitten et al.4
Terrestrial mass extinctions, cometary impacts and the Sun's motion perpendicular to the galactic plane
Episodes of mass extinctions on the Earth are now strongly suspected to be cyclical1. We report here that our analysis of the data of Raup and Sepkoski1 suggests that the dominant cyclicity in major
Possible transfer of lunar matter to Earth due to a nearby supernova
Theories of supernova explosion (SNEs)1–3 as well as correlation of NO−3 in Antarctic ice cores with the dates of historical supernovae4, suggest that many Type I SNE may yield an intense 1050 erg
The past, present and future supernova threat to Earth’s biosphere
A brief review of the threat posed to Earth’s biosphere via near-by supernova detonations is presented. The expected radiation dosage, cosmic ray flux and expanding blast wave collision effects are
Ozone Depletion from Nearby Supernovae
Estimates made in the 1970s indicated that a supernova occurring within tens of parsecs of Earth could have significant effects on the ozone layer. Since that time, improved tools for detailed
End-cretaceous cooling and mass extinction driven by a dark cloud encounter


Glaciations and dense interstellar clouds
McCREA has revived the idea that the Earth's ice ages may have been caused by the interaction of the Sun with dense interstellar clouds1. In this theory, originally formulated by Hoyle and
The effect of interstellar matter on climatic variation
The effect of interstellar matter on the sun's radiation is considered with a view to explaining changes in terrestrial climate. It appears that a star in passing through a nebulous cloud will
Can cosmic clouds cause climatic catastrophes?
SEVERAL authors1–3 have discussed whether past immersion of the Solar System in dense interstellar matter (ISM) might have left observable imprints on the Earth. Accretion cannot affect the solar
Prompt gamma rays and X rays from supernovae
The hydrodynamic origin of cosmic rays (Colgate and Johnson 1960) depends upon the shock ejection of the outer layers of the supernova. The increase in energy of the shock to c2 per gram occurs
Note on a Possible Factor in Changes of Geological Climate
  • H. Shapley
  • Geology, Environmental Science
    The Journal of Geology
  • 1921
In a recent discussion of the factors that control variations of world climatic conditions, Professor Humphreys has criticized the various astronomical hypotheses that attempt to explain the ice ages
The historical supernovae
Only a few civilisations throughout the world have contributed significantly to the written records of astronomical phenomena from the historical past. Pre-eminent among these must be Europe, China
Possible Consequences of Nearby Supernova Explosions for Atmospheric Ozone and Terrestrial Life
Hard x-ray pulses or increased cosmic radiation originating in nearby supernova explosions may be capable of temporarily removing most of the earth's atmospheric ozone cover even when direct
Effect of nearby supernova explosions on atmospheric ozone
WE have calculated the probable effects of a nearby supernova event on the ozone layer. We find that the effects are significant and long lasting, but are relatively rare at the location of the Earth
Ice ages and the Galaxy
The passage of the Solar System through a dust lane bordering a spiral arm of the Galaxy may cause a temporary variation of the Sun's radiation and so lead to an ice epoch on Earth.