Ozone Depletion from Nearby Supernovae

  title={Ozone Depletion from Nearby Supernovae},
  author={Neil A. Gehrels and Claude Laird and C. H. Jackman and John K. Cannizzo and Barbara Jo Mattson and Wan Chen},
  journal={The Astrophysical Journal},
  pages={1169 - 1176}
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 modeling of atmospheric chemistry have been developed to calculate ozone depletion, and advances have been made also in theoretical modeling of supernovae and of the resultant gamma-ray spectra. In addition, we now have better knowledge of the occurrence rate of supernovae in the Galaxy and of the spatial… 

Gamma-rays from ultracompact minihaloes: effects on the Earth’s atmosphere and links to mass extinction events

Recent studies of the effects on the Earth's atmosphere by astrophysical sources, such as nearby gamma-ray bursts or supernovae, have shown that these events could lead to severe changes in


It is found that a supernova at 100 pc can have only a small effect on terrestrial organisms from visible light and that chemical changes such as ozone depletion are weak, but tropospheric ionization right down to the ground, due to the penetration of ⩾TeV CRs, will increase by nearly an order of magnitude for thousands of years, and irradiation by muons on the ground and in the upper ocean will increase twentyfold.

Terrestrial effects of moderately nearby supernovae

This short communication/review is designed to describe in more detail the sorts of effects that are indicated at the Earth from supernovae in the Early Pleistocene, so that they may possibly be related to changes in the biota around these times.

Stellar astrophysics: Supernovae in the neighbourhood

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.

A Supernova at 50 pc: Effects on the Earth's Atmosphere and Biota

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

Effect of Supernovae on the Local Interstellar Material

A range of astronomical data indicates that ancient supernovae created the galactic environment of the Sun and sculpted the physical properties of the interstellar medium near the heliosphere. In

Did high-energy astrophysical sources contribute to Martian atmospheric loss?

  • D. Atri
  • Physics, Environmental Science
  • 2016
Mars is believed to have had a substantial atmosphere in the past. Atmospheric loss led to depressurization and cooling, and is thought to be the primary driving force responsible for the loss of

Heliospheric Compression Due to Recent Nearby Supernova Explosions

The widespread detection of 60Fe in geological and lunar archives provides compelling evidence for recent nearby supernova explosions within ∼100 pc at 3 and 7 Myr ago. The blasts from these

Terrestrial Effects of High Energy Cosmic Rays

Abstr act: On geological timescales, the Earth is likely to be exposed to higher than the usual flux of high energy cosmic rays (HECRs) from astrophysical sources such as nearby supernovae, gamma ray

Muon Radiation Dose and Marine Megafaunal Extinction at the end-Pliocene Supernova

The muon flux from supernova-initiated cosmic rays from the surface to the depths of the ocean is propagate, and it is found that the radiation dose from the muons will exceed the total present surface dose from all sources at depths up to a kilometer and will persist for at least the lifetime of marine megafauna.



Could a nearby supernova explosion have caused a mass extinction?

  • J. EllisD. Schramm
  • Physics
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1995
It is examined the possibility that a nearby supernova explosion could have caused one or more of the mass extinctions identified by paleontologists, and the possible rate of such events is discussed.

Frequency of nearby supernovae and climatic and biological catastrophes

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

A New Estimate of the Local Interstellar Energy Density and Ionization Rate of Galactic Cosmic Cosmic Rays

Using data from the Voyager and Pioneer spacecraft at distances up to 60 AU from the Sun to help define the effects of solar modulation, we have made a new estimate of the local interstellar

Past, present, and future modeled ozone trends with comparisons to observed trends

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) two-dimensional (2-D) model of stratospheric transport and photochemistry has been used to predict ozone changes that have occurred in the past 20 years

Effects of intense stratospheric ionisation events

High levels of ionising radiation in the Earth's stratosphere will lead to increased concentrations of nitrogen oxides and decreased concentrations of ozone. Changes in the surface environment will

Mass extinctions and supernova explosions.

  • P. CrutzenC. Brühl
  • Physics
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1996
The detailed model calculations show, however, substantially smaller ozone depletions ranging from at most 60% at high latitudes to below 20% at the equator.

Cosmic‐ray particles that changed from 1954 to 1958 to 1965

During each of the two recent periods of special international coordination of scientific effort, the IGY (International Geophysical Year) and the IQSY (International Year of the Quiet Sun), we made

Evidence for nearby supernova explosions.

It is proposed that approximately 2 Myr ago, one of the SNe exploded close enough to Earth to seriously damage the ozone layer, provoking or contributing to the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary marine extinction.

Interplanetary energetic ions and polar radio wave absorption

This is a study of the ionization input of interplanetary (including solar flare) energetic protons and alpha particles into the south polar ionosphere over the interval 1982–1985. Energetic particle

Influence of extremely large solar proton events in a changing stratosphere

Two periods of extremely large solar proton events (SPEs) occurred in the past 30 years, which forced significant long-term polar stratospheric changes. The August 2-10, 1972, and October 19-27,