Life extinctions by cosmic ray jets

Arnon Dar, Ari Laor, Nir J. Shaviv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


High energy cosmic ray jets from nearby mergers or accretion induced collapse of neutron stars that hit the atmosphere can produce lethal fluxes of atmospheric muons at ground level, underground and underwater, destroy the ozone layer, and radioactivate the environment. They could have caused some of the massive life extinctions on planet Earth in the past 570 Myr. Biological mutations due to such ionizing radiations could have caused the fast appearance of new species after these mass extinctions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5813-5816
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


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