Radiation From Exploding Supernova Near Earth Caused Human Evolution, Study Says
The supernovas near the Earth may have showered the planet with radiation that caused human evolution, according to a study.
A powerful outburst from a dying star is called the supernova. Its explosion is so powerful that it can be seen up to the edge of the cosmos and can outshine other starts within its hosting galaxy.
Scientists have stated that for more that 50 years, that supernova near the Earth may have influenced life on the planet. It disrupted climate change and even triggered the mass extinction. According to the previous research, supernovas that are around 325 light-years from Earth could send radioactive debris on the planet. This can happen at least once every 2 million to 4 million years, Scientific American reported.
Significant levels of iron called iron-60 were discovered by the researchers in deep ocean rocks in 1999. That was a proof that supernovas have showered Earth with radioactive material. Supernovas can produce iron-60 10 times faster compared to the natural ways of creating it.
Supernova explosion within 30 to 45 light-years from the Earth would be dangerous to life on the planet, previous research suggested. However, explosions that are close enough to create mass extinction are very rare, it could only happen "on the order of one every few billion years," said Anton Wallner, study co-author, a nuclear physicist at Australian National University in Canberra.
Today, the researchers have located where the closest supernova on Earth had happened and when. They found out that it just happened recently enough that it possibly influenced life on Earth.
The team was able to pinpoint the most probable sites and times of the explosion using supercomputer models to calculate the possible chunks of dying stars and the complex paths this radioactive matter took.
Wallner said that the radiations from these explosions might have influenced the climate on Earth. Breitschwerdt also noted that the radiation might have triggered mutations in life-forms on the planet.
Meanwhile, another group of scientists was able to create the first formation of a key sugar that is essential for life by cooking up a faux comet, according to Space.com.
They created ice that resembles those that are detected by Rosetta, a European Space Agency mission that made the first landing on a comet. From that ice, they have created ribose, a sugar that is the key component of RNA, an important ingredient of human life.
Organisms on Earth are composed of DNA and RNA which are the genetic materials that control an organism's physical makeup. The origin of these life components remains a huge question since it was discovered.