Resources
Q & A
Glossary
Acronym Guide
Further Reading
Outside the Site
Google Sky
WWT
Facebook
Youtube
Vimeo
Twitter
Flickr
Pinterest
Multimedia, Etc
Images/Illustrations
Animation & Video
Special Features
Chandra Podcasts
Chandra Mobile
Desktop Images
The Big Chandra Picture
High Res Prints
Presentations
Handouts
Screen Savers
Audio
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Chandra Mobile
Chronicle
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
Q&A: Cosmology

Q:
Is it possible that a supernova or star birth shock waves could be one of the reasons the Earth has periodic major loss of life?

A:
That idea was carefully considered by scientists in Berkeley, California. The reasoning behind their decision that a nearby supernova was not the cause of the mass extinction 65 million years ago may be found in this article from 1979:
http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/dinosaur-extinction.html

The link at the bottom of the page, "Does a companion star to the Sun cause periodic mass extinctions on Earth," will pull up a plot of the extinction rate over the age of the Earth and further information on the search for the cause of mass extinctions on our planet.

Back | Index | Next