Explosion Light-Years Away Could Obliterate Life on Earth, Scientists Find
Briefly

A recent study published in The Astrophysical Journal suggests that a kilonova, resulting from the collision of two neutron stars, could potentially wipe out life on Earth. These collisions release massive amounts of electromagnetic radiation in the form of gamma-ray bursts. The researchers found that a kilonova about 16 light-years from Earth could produce enough X-ray afterglow to ionize our atmosphere, leading to devastating effects such as cryogenic temperatures and a complete lack of oxygen. Fortunately, there are currently no known neutron star pairs near Earth that pose this threat.
A kilonova could pose a major threat to Earth-like planets, even at formidable interstellar distances.
The study was based on the kilonova GW170817, which occurred around 130 million light-years away from Earth. Using computer simulations, the team estimated the minimum distance at which such an event could still be safe. They concluded that even at distances of up to 36 light-years away, the shockwave from a kilonova could interact with particles to create enough cosmic rays to vaporize our atmosphere, resulting in the end of life on Earth.
Even at distances of up to 36 light-years away, the kilonova's devastating shockwave could interact with particles to create enough cosmic rays to vaporize our atmosphere, leaving us exposed to cryogenic temperatures, searing UV radiation, and a complete lack of oxygen.
Read at Futurism
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