A paper launched this week by College of Illinois Urbana-Champaign astronomy and physics professor Brian Fields makes a case for distant supernovae as a reason behind a previous mass extinction occasion—particularly, the Hangenberg occasion, which marks the boundary between the Devonian and Carboniferous intervals. Fields has proposed this form of factor earlier than, and each this and his earlier piece are fascinating workouts of “what-if.” Every fashions the consequences a supernova may have on Earth’s biosphere, and the way we’d go searching for proof that it occurred.
It is necessary to know, nonetheless, that neither of those papers ought to be taken as indications that there may be proof that the occasions referenced have been attributable to a supernova, or as consultant of any normal scientific consensus to that impact. They’re merely intriguing proposals, and so they point out what kind of proof we should always search for.
When you say “mass extinction” and “house” in the identical sentence, the very first thing on most peoples’ minds is an asteroid influence with the Earth—even when dinosaur followers consider the Chicxulub crater, and popular culture followers suppose as a substitute of films similar to Deep Impression or Armageddon.