We have launched our mobile app, get it now. Call : 9354229384, 9354252518, 9999830584.  

Tags Current Affairs

Tree rings hold clues on impact of supernovas

Date: 01 December 2020 Tags: Space


Massive supernova explosions happening thousands of light-years from Earth may have left traces in our planet's biology and geology.



  • A very nearby supernova could be capable of wiping human civilization off the face of the Earth by emitting dangerous radiations.

  • To study the possible impacts, researchers searched through the planet's tree ring records for the fingerprints of these distant, cosmic explosions.

  • The findings suggest that relatively close supernovas could theoretically have triggered at least four disruptions to Earth's climate over the last 40,000 years.

  • Scientists have discovered that concentration of Carbon-14 isotope inside tree rings spikes suddenly and for no apparent earthly reason. 

  • They have hypothesized that these several-year-long spikes could be due to solar flares or huge ejections of energy from the surface of the sun.

  • While these isotopes aren't dangerous on their own, a spike in their levels could indicate that energy from a distant supernova has travelled hundreds to thousands of light-years to our planet.



  • A supernova is the name given to the cataclysmic explosion of a massive star at the end of its life. It can emit more energy in a few seconds than our sun will radiate in its lifetime of billions of years.

  • The original object, called the progenitor, either collapses to a neutron star or black hole, or is completely destroyed. 



  • Carbon-14 (14C), or radiocarbon, is a radioactive isotope of carbon with an atomic nucleus containing 6 protons and 8 neutrons. Its presence in organic materials is the basis of the radiocarbon dating method.

  • Radiocarbon dating is a radiometric dating method that uses (14C) to determine the age of carbonaceous materials up to about 60,000 years old.

  • One of the frequent uses of the technique is to date organic remains from archaeological sites.

Notice (8): Undefined variable: quizpole [ROOT/plugins/Studyiq/src/Template/Pages/tagdetails.ctp, line 161]