Hypothesis: Muon Radiation Dose and Marine Megafaunal Extinction at the End-Pliocene Supernova.

@article{Melott2019HypothesisMR,
  title={Hypothesis: Muon Radiation Dose and Marine Megafaunal Extinction at the End-Pliocene Supernova.},
  author={Adrian L. Melott and F. Marinho and Laura Paulucci},
  journal={Astrobiology},
  year={2019},
  volume={19 6},
  pages={
          825-830
        }
}
Considerable data and analysis support the detection of one or more supernovae (SNe) at a distance of about 50 pc, ∼2.6 million years ago. This is possibly related to the extinction event around that time and is a member of a series of explosions that formed the Local Bubble in the interstellar medium. We build on previous work, and propagate the muon flux from SN-initiated cosmic rays from the surface to the depths of the ocean. We find that the radiation dose from the muons will exceed the… 

Figures from this paper

Supernova triggers for end-Devonian extinctions

TLDR
It is proposed that the end-Devonian extinctions were triggered by supernova explosions at ∼20 pc, somewhat beyond the “kill distance” that would have precipitated a full mass extinction.

r-Process Radioisotopes from Near-Earth Supernovae and Kilonovae

The astrophysical sites where r-process elements are synthesized remain mysterious: it is clear that neutron star mergers (kilonovae (KNe)) contribute, and some classes of core-collapse supernovae

Climate change via CO2 drawdown from astrophysically initiated atmospheric ionization?

TLDR
This investigated whether nitrate rainout resulting from the atmospheric ionization of enhanced cosmic ray flux could have, through its fertilizer effect, initiated carbon dioxide drawdown, which could possibly reduce the greenhouse effect and induce the climate change that led to the Pleistocene glaciations.

Holocene vegetation patterns in southern Lithuania indicate astronomical forcing on the millennial and centennial time scales

The Earth’s biota originated and developed to its current complex state through interacting with multilevel physical forcing of our planet’s climate and near and outer space phenomena. In the present

Exploring the link between star and planet formation with Ariel

The goal of the Ariel space mission is to observe a large and diversified population of transiting planets around a range of host star types to collect information on their atmospheric composition.

Into Thinner Air: The Pliocene Demise of the Giant Volant Birds

Three genera of very large volant birds existed for most of the Pliocene: the Pelagornithidae seabirds; the large North American Teratornithidae and the stork Leptoptilos falconeri in Africa and

Paleodetectors for Galactic supernova neutrinos

Paleodetectors are a proposed experimental technique in which one would search for traces of recoiling nuclei in ancient minerals. Natural minerals on Earth are as old as O(1) Gyr and, in many mine

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 55 REFERENCES

A Supernova at 50 PC: Effects on the Earth’s Atmosphere and Biota

TLDR
A substantial increase is suggested in the extended effects of supernovae on Earth and in the "lethal distance" estimate; though more work is needed.

Stellar astrophysics: Supernovae in the neighbourhood

TLDR
Detailed measurements of radioisotopes in deep-sea deposits, plus modelling of how they reached Earth, indicate that many supernovae have occurred near enough to have potentially influenced evolution, and suggest there have been multiple supernova within a few hundred light years, over the past few million years.

60Fe anomaly in a deep-sea manganese crust and implications for a nearby supernova source.

TLDR
A well resolved time profile of the 60Fe concentration in a deep-sea ferromanganese crust is measured and a highly significant increase 2.8 Myr ago is found.

Recent near-Earth supernovae probed by global deposition of interstellar radioactive 60Fe

TLDR
The findings indicate multiple supernova and massive-star events during the last ten million years at distances of up to 100 parsecs, which indicates that a few per cent of fresh 60Fe was captured in dust and deposited on Earth.

Time-resolved 2-million-year-old supernova activity discovered in Earth’s microfossil record

TLDR
A time-resolved 60Fe signal residing, at least partially, in a biogenic reservoir is reported through the direct detection of live 60Fe atoms contained within secondary iron oxides, among which are magnetofossils, the fossilized chains of magnetite crystals produced by magnetotactic bacteria.

The locations of recent supernovae near the Sun from modelling 60Fe transport

TLDR
Calculations of the most probable trajectories and masses of the supernova progenitors, and hence their explosion times and sites, are reported and the model reproduces the measured relative abundances very well.

Interstellar ^{60}Fe on the Surface of the Moon.

TLDR
The concentration of the cosmic ray produced isotope ^{53}Mn, measured in the same samples, proves the supernova origin of the ^{60}Fe and deduces a reliable value for the local interstellar fluence in the range of 1×10^{8}  at/cm^{2}.

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

Gamma-Ray Bursts and the Earth: Exploration of Atmospheric, Biological, Climatic, and Biogeochemical Effects

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
...