Supernova dinosaur extinction

Supernova dinosaur extinction

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Credit: JOE TUCCIARONE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Supernova dinosaur extinction. Artwork of a bright supernova in the night sky behind a Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur. One theory uses a nearby supernova explosion to explain why dinosaurs went extinct around 65 million years ago. A supernova results from a massive star collapsing, prompted by the destabilisation of the internal nuclear fusion reaction that prevents such a collapse by emitting light and heat energy. The destabilisation occurs as the star runs out of fuel. A massive explosion results, and sends high-energy radiation out into space. If the supernova occurred within about 130 light years of Earth, then this radiation may have prompted a mass extinction of life on Earth.

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Keywords: ancient, animal, animals, artwork, astronomy, astrophysics, biology, carnivore, carnivorous, cosmic rays, cosmology, cretaceous, deadly, death of the dinosaurs, dinosaur, event, exploding, explosion, extinct, extinction, fatal, illustration, impact event force energy, late, mass, natural history, nature, night sky, palaeontology, paleontology, past, predator, predatory, prehistoric, radiation, ray, reptile, space, star death, stars, supernova, tyrannosaurus rex, universe, zoology

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