Gamma-ray bursts as a threat to life on Earth

  title={Gamma-ray bursts as a threat to life on Earth},
  author={Brian C. Thomas},
  journal={International Journal of Astrobiology},
  pages={183 - 186}
  • B. Thomas
  • Published 26 March 2009
  • Physics, Environmental Science
  • International Journal of Astrobiology
Abstract Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are likely to have made a number of significant impacts on the Earth during the last billion years. The gamma radiation from a burst within a few kiloparsecs would quickly deplete much of the Earth's protective ozone layer, allowing an increase in solar ultraviolet radiation reaching the surface. This radiation is harmful to life, damaging DNA and causing sunburn. In addition, NO2 produced in the atmosphere would cause a decrease in visible sunlight reaching the… 
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