An exploding star may have killed life on Earth millions of years ago

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Apr 04, 2021, 10:36 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( AFP )

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Researchers have said that this may have been responsible for late Devonian mass extinction

Earth has seen many 'Mass Extinctions'. These are events during which the majority of life forms suddenly perished. One such event was the impact of an asteroid that eliminated Dinosaurs and many many other plants and animals. Reasons behind most of these mass extinction events (except for the asteroid of course) were thought have been something that happened on Earth (Extremely huge volcanic eruptions etc). 

But now, a team of researchers led by an Astrophysicist has put forward a theory that says that explosion of star was the reason why mass extinction took place 359 million years ago.

The study has been led by Astrophysicist Brian Fields from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The team says that a dying star, exploding far across the galaxy was the reason why mass extinction took place on Earth in the late Devonian period (359 million years ago).

The researchers say that the radiation from this supernova (explosion of a star) was responsible for depletion of the Ozone layer on Earth. As a result, harmful radiation was able to reach life on Earth, thus causing mass extinction.

This is yet a hypothesis that has been published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America)

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