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Mass extinction on earth caused due to exploding stars

A new study reveals that brutal cosmic rays from Supernovae could be the reason behind at least one mass extinction event. According to the researchers, finding certain radioactive isotopes in Earth's rock record could confirm this scenario.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: August 20, 2020 9:51 IST
Mass Extinction on earth caused due to exploding stars (Representational image)
Image Source : NASA

Mass Extinction on earth caused due to exploding stars (Representational image)

A new study reveals that brutal cosmic rays from Supernovae could be the reason behind at least one mass extinction event. According to the researchers, finding certain radioactive isotopes in Earth's rock record could confirm this scenario. 

The study led by the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign astronomy and physics professor Brian Fields explores the possibility of astronomical events being responsible for an extinction event that occurred 359 million years ago, at the boundary between the Devonian and Carboniferous periods. 

The paper has been published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team concentrated on Devonian-Carboniferous boundary because those rocks contain hundreds of thousands of generations of plant spores that appear to be sunburnt by ultraviolet light--evidence of a long-lasting ozone-depletion event. 

Researchers are yet to search for Pu-244 or Sm-146 in rocks from the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary. 

(With inputs from ANI)