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     Erupted millions of years ago a supernova changed life on Earth
    on Monday 21 May 2018
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    In the new study, the scientist found that ozone depletion has led to a surge of mutations and the formation of new species.

    A supernova that occurred 2.5 and 8 million years ago relatively close to the Land, influenced the evolution of life. Ozone depletion has led to a surge of mutations and, consequently, the formation of new species. This is the conclusion in their science article came Brian Thomas (Brian Thomas) from Washburn University in the United States.

    Scientists have long known that at a specified time within 100-300 light-years from Earth erupted two supernovae. This is indicated by the concentration of iron-60 in the respective geological layers. This isotope is a reliable sign of "cosmic fireworks".

    I wonder what 2.5 million years ago with the biosphere of the Earth has undergone major metamorphosis (although not as extensive to speak about the mass extinction). The Pliocene epoch gave way to the Pleistocene with its characteristic flora and fauna. But eight million years ago, no particular change in the living world did not happen.

    So did these outbursts on the evolution of life? To understand this, Thomas analyzed the effects of cosmic rays generated by flash, into the Earth's atmosphere. In particular, he was interested in that the moment happened with the ozone layer.

    The researchers used global climate models and the results of predecessors in chemistry of the atmosphere and spread radiation through the air envelope.

    It turned out that the ozone shield of the Earth reacted differently at different stages of the "attack". Explain that the velocity of the particles ejected from the supernova, is quite different. The fastest of them, flying at relativistic speeds reached of the planet for a few hundred years. At the same time "rain" of iron-60 was spilled late for hundreds of years.

    "Fixing" a supernova at a distance of a little less than a hundred light-years from Earth, Thomas modeled the state of the ozone layer through the 100, 300 and 1000 years after the outbreak. It turned out that the most significant depletion (26%) of the ozone shield has experienced three hundred years after the explosion.

    This is due to the fact that the most energetic particles reaching the planet within a century after the cataclysm, instantly passed the ozone layer and gave their energy is much closer to the surface of the Earth. Leisurely Wanderers who traveled for a Millennium, had too little power to seriously affect the atmosphere.

    But the "landing" to reach the "drop point" down three centuries, was the most malicious. These particles interacted with the stratosphere and leaky ozone shield. As a result, the intensity of the age of the Earth ultraviolet radiation has increased by 1.1 to 2.8 times depending on the latitude.

    Seeing this depressing fact, Thomas wondered what this situation could threaten the biosphere. The scientist considered a number of problems associated with excessive ultraviolet radiation. In mournful list was erythema, cataract, cancer of the skin, increase the frequency of mutations and the suppression of photosynthesis in phytoplankton and terrestrial plants.

    After a thorough analysis, based on numerous scientific works of predecessors, the scientist came to the following conclusions. Different species respond to changed conditions in different ways. Some plants, such as soybeans and wheat, even increased productivity. According to the journal Astrobiology, this fact is confirmed by paleontological data. Severe suppression of photosynthesis or epidemic of oncological diseases did not happen. However, the frequency of mutations increased significantly, which led to the extinction of some species and appearance of others.

    This conclusion is consistent with the changes in the biosphere 2.5 million years ago. However, the question remains, why did eight million years ago did not happen anything like that.

    Perhaps the fact that the space of the explosion at this distance is not enough to run on Earth the change of geological epochs. However, it can serve as the last straw, a push which brings balance to a system that by its own internal reasons, already ready to "go racing".

    In the future, Thomas also hopes to examine the possible effects of supernova explosions on the evolution of man.

    Recall that "Conduct.Science" ( repeatedly wrote about these cosmic cataclysms. We talked about direct observation that outbreaks in nearby (by cosmic standards) the area of Land and that in 2022, this event can be seen with the naked eye. We also talked about the flash, which became an astronomical sensation in the XVI century and about the mysterious explosion, the echoes of which sunk to the Ground in the Middle ages.

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