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Supernovae and solar cycles found in Ice Cores

  1. Feb 23, 2009 #1

    Mk

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    http://arxiv.org/abs/0902.3446
    So apparently gamma rays from nearby supernovae produce nitrogen oxide in the atmosphere. The team took 122-meter-long cores from Dome Fuji station in Antarctica and found three nitrogen oxide spikes in the 11th century. They think they know what two of them are, but the third is a mystery. They also saw a 10-year variation in background nitrogen oxide, and sulphate spikes corresponding to volcanic eruptions between 100 and 1300 AD.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
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  3. Feb 23, 2009 #2

    mgb_phys

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    I'd be amazed if gamma rays from a SN in the crab produced a measurable change in the rate of NOx production (did 1987A produce anything similair?)

    Still it's a funny old world
     
  4. Feb 23, 2009 #3
    This just confirms what was already known, NO3 production is tied to the flux in solar magnetic field.
     
  5. Feb 23, 2009 #4

    mgb_phys

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    Similairly N14->C14 production is tied to the solar cycle and has to be calibrated out for C14 dating, but that doesn't prove that a SN 6500 lyr away can produce NOx
     
  6. Feb 25, 2009 #5

    Xnn

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    So, the 1006 SN was an order of magnitude higher than the sun. SN's are known to produce as much energy in a short time frame as the sun does over its entire lifetime. They do that by becoming extremely hot just before exploding. So, it may not be too surprising that their spectrum shifts dramatically towards higher energies which would include γ-rays.
     
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