It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Evidence of an exploding star, known as a supernova, is usually found in space in the form of luminous bursts of radiation and clouds of interstellar gas. Yet now, researchers have found that fossil remains also hold clues to supernovas in the form of the remains of iron-loving bacteria. The findings are the first to show that there can be biological evidence of a supernova.
These iron-loving bacteria are called magnetotatic bacteria and live within the sediments of Earth's oceans, close to the water-sediment interface. There, they make hundreds of tiny crystals of magnetite within their cells. In order to obtain iron to create these crystals, the bacteria actually utilize atmospheric dust that enters the ocean. This unique property is what provided the evidence for a supernova.
The supernova explosion that formed the Vela Supernova Remnant most likely occurred 10,000–20,000 years ago.
In 1976, NASA astronomers suggested that inhabitants of the southern hemisphere may have witnessed this explosion and recorded it symbolically.
A year later, archaeologist George Michanowsky recalled some incomprehensible ancient markings in Bolivia that were left by Native Americans.
The carvings showed four small circles flanked by two larger circles. The smaller circles resemble stellar groupings in the constellations Vela and Carina. One of the larger circles may represent the star Capella. Another circle is located near the position of the supernova remnant, George Michanowsky suggested this may represent the supernova explosion as witnessed by the indigenous residents.
In 185 CE, Chinese astronomers recorded the appearance of a bright star in the sky, and observed that it took about eight months to fade from the sky.
It was observed to sparkle like a star and did not move across the heavens like a comet. These observations are consistent with the appearance of a supernova, and this is believed to be the oldest confirmed record of a supernova event by humankind. SN 185 may have also possibly been recorded in Roman literature, though no records have survived.
The gaseous shell RCW 86 is suspected as being the remnant of this event, and recent X-ray studies show a good match for the expected age.