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I was however surprised by the distance involved and the effects on our biosphere.
This extraordinary star may have been the primary instigator for extensive translocation south-westwards to New Zealand from Hawaiiki, similar to the formation of Great Zimbabwe that likewise “followed a star” relating to the nearest, brightest and most recent supernova that disappeared.
The incentive for the migration was likely motivated by charismatic authoritarian “mana” individuals or an unknown “starburst” event.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND γ-RAY FLUX
SNR RX J0852.0-4622 is regarded as being the nearest, bright-est and most recent supernova and is characterized by its high energy and prodigious γ-ray flux that bombarded the Earth ca 1271.
Depending on the type and energy a near Earth supernova between 3000 to 100 light years away will noticeably affect the Earth’s biosphere. Terrestrial effects of a nearby supernova can affect upper atmospheric conversions of nitrogen into nitrogen oxides that will deplete the ozone layer to expose the surface to harmful cosmic and solar radiation.
One theory suggests that a Type Ia supernova would have to be closer than a thousand parsecs (3300 light-years) to unfavorably affect the Earth. All previous treatments of the effects of cosmic rays from supernova and other high-energy sources have only been approximate but less than 200 pc can make exceptional changes in the biosphere (Thomas et al., 2016; Melott & Thomas, 2009; 2011; Melott et al., 2004, 2010a, b, 2017; Beech, 2011; Dartnell, 2011; Atri & Melott, 2014; Gehrels et al., 2003).
Generally, a supernova closer than 8 pc or 26 light years can destroy half the Earth’s ozone layer and cause a mass extinct-tion event but new research shows that significant damage in the form of radiation sufficient to trigger extinction-level ozone depletion could come from a distance of several kpc (Melott & Thomas, 2011; Melott et al., 2017; Wade, 2015: 134).
Global effects appear at this time which are regarded as being volcanic-ally caused: The Greenland Vikings eat their dogs in haste to leave Greenland, the Anasazi experience a prodigious drought compared to their usual sparse existence and migrate south-westwards in what is termed the “Great
Drought” ca 1276–1299, the sudden and strange winters throughout Europe cause massive deaths and famine, Mapun-gubwe in South Africa goes into instant decline and a thick burn layer is found that coincides with the emergence of the Great Zimbabwe flourish ca 1270–1290, the Mongols invade China and Japan, the Peruvians flourish into an Inca Civiliza-tion and Polynesian navigators occupy New Zealand (Wade, 2015: 134).
The ice-core data reveal high levels of nitrogen oxides and nitrate ions rather than sulfate spikes that would corroborate global volcanism for the same time zone. The supernova remnant RX J0852.0-4622 appears to be a near-Earth event which may have affected the biosphere by means of an intense γ-ray flux sufficient to cause atmospheric change.
This may have become the advent of the phenomenon that is termed the “Little Ice-Age” (Russell & Johnson, 2007).
Volcanic outbursts such as Samalas in 1257 juxtapose signals in the palaeo records and deter the evidence at the time. The Northern Hemisphere experienced extreme cold summers in 7 1258–1259 and severe famines, however, the volcanic eruption is not seen as the trigger of the famines (Campbell 2017; Guillet et al., 2017; Burgess & Zuber, 2000 Stephan Woodborne pers. comm. 1 Sept 2015).
Many cultures throughout the world show rapid changes at this period and an eyewitness account would define the time-line definitively.
There is also a possibility that the Polynesian navigators fol-lowed the visible plume of the Kaharoa volcano in New Zealand in 1314:
My own view, partly discussed in the paper you read, is that New Zealand was first discovered as part of a general phase of island exploration that has been on-going for a few thousand years. It was then colonised sometime after 1300 AD.
If the voyaging canoes followed anything specific at this stage, it is more likely to have been the plume of volcanic ash that rose from the eruption of the Kaharoa volcano in New Zealand in 1314 and which would have been visible in the Cook Islands (pers. comm. Richard Walter 12 October 2017).
The chronology given by Lowe (2008) outlines the earliest prominent Mā ori settlements as preceding the Kaharoa 1314 +/- 12 eruptions (i.e. 55–31 years after a supernova is seen in
Japan). This will imply that the earliest mass migration settle-ment stratigraphy should exist before the volcanic ash layer was produced by Kaharoa (See Figs 6 and 7).