14 May 2013


Fossil bacteria on the floor of the Pacific Ocean carry radioactive traces of iron-60 isotopes thought to originate from a supernova explosion about 2.2 million years ago

The remains of a star gone supernova. Credit: ESA | Hubble | NASA | Claude Cornen at Wikimedia Commons.
A team of astrophysicists has reported preliminary findings of fossilized magnetotactic (iron-loving) bacteria in sediment cores from the floor of the Pacific Ocean bearing iron-60——a rare isotope not from Earth and first found on Earth in its crust in 2004. If confirmed, the iron traces in the bacteria would be the first biological signature of a specific exploding star, reports Nature News:
No one is sure what particular star might have exploded at this time, although one paper points to suspects in the Scorpius–Centaurus stellar association, at a distance of about 130 parsecs (424 light years) from the Sun.
More here.
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