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Effects of a gamma ray burst on earth

  1. Oct 17, 2016 #1
    http://phys.org/news/2016-10-deadly-nearby-gamma-ray.html
    How deadly would a nearby gamma ray burst be?
    The original paper in Astrobiology is locked, but this summary is pretty complete.

    "A burst at the South Pole fits in with theories of the Ordovician extinction because the measured extinction rates match the models that predicts latitude-dependent biological damage."
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2016 #2

    Bystander

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  4. Oct 17, 2016 #3
    At this time all there seems to be is a model based on various aspects of space and atmospheric science. I don't know enough of the nuances of the Ordovician extinction to say that there is more evidence in support of the model than the way the extinction traveled. The next step in linking a GRB to the extinction would be to find other GRB evidence on earth at the time of the extinctions, or evidence and proxies for any GRB effects on earth at any time. This model is an expansion of
    http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/starsgalaxies/gammaray_extinction.html, in 2005. "The strength of their work is their atmospheric modeling -- essentially a "what if" scenario." Prof. Melott at U. Kansas writes many papers like that and I like them for a starting point for speculations. So, I don't know what's significant and what isn't.
     
  5. Oct 17, 2016 #4
    By that I mean what's significant about anything presented in the new paper.
     
  6. Oct 17, 2016 #5

    Fervent Freyja

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  7. Oct 17, 2016 #6
    Thanks for that link. It's hard to discuss a paper for which you can present only the abstract or the media highlight. Once I've downloaded a PDF, I don't usually
    remember if it was locked or open access.
     
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