Scientists find 'smoking gun' proof of a recent supernova near Earth

A supernova exploded near Earth about 2.5 million years ago, possibly causing an extinction event.

Credit: NASA/ESA/G. Bacon, STScI
  • Researchers from the University of Munich find evidence of a supernova near Earth.
  • A star exploded close to our planet about 2.5 million years ago.
  • The scientists deduced this by finding unusual concentrations of isotopes, created by a supernova.
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Neutron Star Breakthrough Explains the Universe's Gold, Platinum, and Uranium

This discovery finally points to the source of Earth's precious heavy elements, also proves Einstein correct in more ways than one. 

Artist's impression of two neutron stars colliding. Credit: Dana Berry, SkyWorks Digital

Last September, scientists at a special observatory announced that they detected a gravitational wave for the first time. The detection took place in September, 2015, but wasn’t announced until last year. The observatory is known as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). It registered ripples in space-time formed from the collision of two black holes. Apparently, the fabric of the universe ripples just as water does.

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