Massive Stellar Explosion Close To Earth Discovered Thanks To Layers of Manganese Crust

The discovery of substances, including iron-60 and manganese-53, denoted a supernova from 2.5 million years ago.

The Discovery

When the brightness of Betelgeuse decreased alarmingly months ago, some enthusiasts suspected an incoming supernova – a stellar explosion that might also provoke damage on our planet!

Though Betelgeuse has returned to its normal state, physicists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) discovered evidence of a supernova that took place around our planet about 2.5 million years ago.

The life of a star with a mass over ten times bigger than that of our sun ends with a spectacular supernova, a substantial stellar explosion. The explosion provokes the formation of iron, manganese, and other heavy elements.

In layers of a manganese crust that are approximately two and a half million years old, a research team led by physicists from the Technical University of Munich has just confirmed the existence of both iron-60 and manganese-53.

Dr. Gunther Korschinek, the study’s first author, stated that” the increased concentrations of manganese-53 can be taken as the “smoking gun” – the ultimate proof that this supernova did take place.”

Consequences

Though a nearby supernova could inflict massive damage to life on our planet, this one took place at a safe distance.

It only resulted in an increase in cosmic rays over several thousand years.

Dr. Thomas Faestermann, the co-author of the study, claimed that the phenomenon might boost cloud formation.

“Perhaps there is a link to the Pleistocene epoch, the period of the Ice Ages, which began 2.6 million years ago,” he added.

The manganese found on Earth is typically manganese-55.

Manganese-53, however, regularly forms from cosmic dust.

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