Press Trust of IndiaMay 30, 2019 16:55:14 IST
Cosmic energy bombarded with supernovae eight million years ago may have triggered a series of events that ultimately led to it Ancient people walking on two legs, a hard study.
Research, published in the Journal of Geology, suggests that the supernovae triggered the avalanche of the electron in the lower atmosphere.
This atmospheric ionization probably caused a huge increase in lightning strikes in a country that set fire to forest fires around the world. These infernos are one of the reasons get across Homo sapiens developed bipedal – to adapt to savannahs that replaced the infested forests in northeastern Africa.
"It is believed that there was already a tendency for hominins to go on two feet, even before this event," said Adrian Melott, professor at the University of Kansas, USA.
"But they were mostly adapted for climbing the trees. After this transition to the saunas, they would have to walk more often from one tree to the other over the lawn, and thus become better in upright walking," said Melott. They could see over the top of the grass and watch the predators, "he added.
It is believed that this conversion to savannah contributed to bipedalism, as it became more and more dominant in human ancestors.
Based on the "traitor" layer of iron-60 deposits that cover the world's seabed, astronomers have high reliability that the supernova exploded in the Earth's immediate cosmic neighborhood – between 100 and only 50 pieces (163 light-years) away – during the transition from the Pliocene epoch to the ice time.
"We calculated the ionization of the atmosphere from the cosmic rays that would come from the supernova approximately as far away as iron-60," said Melott.
"It seems that this was closest to a much longer series, we say it would increase the ionization of the lower atmosphere by 50 times," he said.
"Usually, you do not get the ionization of a lower atmosphere because cosmic rays do not penetrate so far, but more energy than the supernova drops to the surface – so many electrons would be thrown out of the atmosphere," he added.
Ionization in a lower atmosphere meant that an abundance of electrons would create multiple lightning paths.
Researchers have said that this lightning strike is likely to touch on a worldwide rapid increase in forest fires supported by the discovery of carbon deposits that are found in land that corresponds to the time of cosmic bombardment.
"The observation is that there are many more coal and soot in the world a few million years ago," Melott said. "It's everywhere, and nobody has any explanation as to why this would have happened around the world in different climatic zones, which could be an explanation," he said.
Melott said that such an event will not be repeated soon. The nearest star capable of exploding in the supernova for the next million years is Betelgeuse, some 652 light-years from Earth.
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