HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
The Milky Way shaped life on Earth

Frenzied star-making in the Milky Way Galaxy starting about 2400 million years ago had extraordinary effects on life on Earth. Harvests of bacteria in the sea soared and crashed in a succession of booms and busts, with an instability not seen before or since. According to new results published by Dr. Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Center in the journal Astronomische Nachrichten, the variability in the productivity of life is closely linked to the cosmic rays, the atomic bullets that rain down on the Earth from exploded stars. They were most intense during a baby boom of stars, many of which blew up.

'The odds are 10,000 to 1 against this unexpected link between cosmic rays and the variable state of the biosphere being just a coincidence, and it offers a new perspective on the connection between the evolution of the Milky Way and the entire history of life over the last 4 billion years,' Dr Svensmark comments.

Dr Svensmark looked at the long record of life's bounty given by counts of heavy carbon atoms, carbon-13, in sedimentary rocks. When bacteria and algae in the ocean grow by taking in carbon dioxide, they prefer the ordinary carbon-12 atoms. As a result, the sea becomes enriched in carbon-13, which is acceptable to sea creatures building their carbonate shells. Variations in carbon-13 therefore record how much photosynthetic growth was in progress when the shell-makers were alive in other words, how productive the biosphere was at that time.

To his surprise, Dr Svensmark noticed that the biggest fluctuations in productivity coincided with high star formation rates and cool periods in Earth's climate. Conversely, during a billion years when star formation was slow, cosmic rays were less intense and Earth's climate was warmer, the biosphere was almost unchanging in its productivity.

This reveals a link more subtle than any straightforward idea of, say, a warm climate being life-friendly or a cold climate
'"/>

Contact: Dr Henrik Svensmark
hsv@spacecenter.dk
452-063-4740
Danish National Space Center
14-Nov-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Facial attraction -- choice of sexual partner shaped the human face
2. Why is the heart heart-shaped?
3. Whats shaped like a pear and has two genomes? Check the pond
4. Three at MIT conceive cell-shaped building
5. Evidence human activities have shaped large-scale ecological patterns
6. A sea otter-shaped rubble pile in space
7. First high-flex knee replacement implant shaped specifically to fit womans anatomy
8. Why are letters and other human visual signs shaped the way that they are?
9. MicroRNAs have shaped the evolution of the majority of mammalian genes
10. For two primates, patience takes different forms, shaped by ecology
11. Evolution of taste receptor may have shaped human sensitivity to toxic compounds

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: The Milky Way shaped life Earth

(Date:1/22/2015)... 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Today, FindBiometrics, the leading source of biometrics industry ... new website design. "When we launched FindBiometrics 12 ... Peter O,Neill , founder and CEO of FindBiometrics. "Now it,s ... from the key players on a very broad scale.  We ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... OXFORD, Conn. , Jan. 20, 2015 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... growing mobile commerce market, reports on the recent success of the Wocket™ ... Wocket smart wallet was named as one of the ... of the "5 Best Products Launched At CES So Far" by Newseveryday.com ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... 2015   EyeLock, Inc. , a market leader of iris-based ... Gerber to the new role of Senior Vice President ... development of mobile platforms and wearable solutions for EyeLock,s technologies. ... in the semiconductor industry to his role at EyeLock, with ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Identity Industry Leading Publication Debuts New Look As Biometrics Hit Mainstream 2CES Response for NXT-ID's Wocket Smart Wallet Kicks Off 2015 2CES Response for NXT-ID's Wocket Smart Wallet Kicks Off 2015 3EyeLock Names Steve Gerber as Senior Vice President of Mobile and Wearables 2
(Date:12/24/2014)... AUSTIN, Texas , Dec. 24, 2014  Vermillion, ... focused on gynecologic disease, announced today that the ... investors including Oracle Investment Management, Jack W. ... directors. Total proceeds were $10.5 million, before offering ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... Louis, Missouri (PRWEB) December 23, 2014 GMO ... biotechnology company, Syngenta, are in the process of being consolidated ... case is In Re: Syngenta AG MIR 162 Corn Litigation, ... District of Kansas. , Management of the Syngenta GMO corn ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) December 23, 2014 ... law H.R. 83, the Omnibus and Continuing Resolution Appropriations ... hydrocephalus a condition eligible to receive funding through the ... Department of Defense (DoD). The Hydrocephalus Association (HA), working ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... Nashville, Tenn. (PRWEB) December 23, 2014 Nashville ... was elected treasurer for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine ... research in reproductive medicine. In his new role as ... board and will have a voice in furthering the mission ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Vermillion Announces Closing of Equity Financing 2Vermillion Announces Closing of Equity Financing 3Carey Danis & Lowe Reports on Syngenta GMO Corn Transfer Order 2Rare Brain Condition Now Eligible for Department of Defense Research Dollars 2Nashville Fertility Center Announces Dr. George A. Hill Selected to Serve as ASRM Treasurer for 2014-15 2Nashville Fertility Center Announces Dr. George A. Hill Selected to Serve as ASRM Treasurer for 2014-15 3
Cached News: