Due to their stunning energy explosions, supernovae have long been studied.

However, new Chandra Observatory data suggests they may be considerably more dangerous to life.

Leyman defines a supernova as a star bursting with an unimaginable intense blast of light upon its death.

As the US energy department (DOE) notes, they can radiate more energy than our sun will in its lifetime and are essential to human survival.

The DOE website indicates that supernovae are one of the Universe’s original sources of metals heavier than iron. “Supernovae or similar cosmic explosions from long before our Sun formed your blood’s iron.”

We should be both grateful and anxious about these celestial happenings.

Chandra Observatory observations of 31 supernovae reveal that powerful X-rays from exploding stars can damage planets 160 light-years away.

The supernova’s first outburst fades in weeks, but its X-rays can persist months or decades and travel far beyond the blast.

As IFL Science notes, these poisonous rays would produce compounds that severely harm the ozone layer, even though they wouldn’t reach Earth’s oxygen-rich atmosphere.

Thus, ultraviolet radiation from the planet’s star—in our case, the sun—would enter the biosphere, making humans and animals unlikely to survive except in the deep ocean or underground.

“These events, while rare, maintain a notable influence in the galaxy’s radiation environment and pose a substantial threat to terrestrial biospheres as their ionizing radiation can induce significant alterations to a planet’s atmospheric chemistry at formidable distance,” the study states.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy advises against panicking.

“The Earth is not in any danger from an event like this now, because there are no potential supernovae within the X-ray danger zone,” said one of the paper’s authors, Connor O’Mahoney of the University of Illinois.

Supernovae may have preceded the Solar System and been near to our planet.

“A nearby [supernova] has most certainly occurred in Earth’s geological past, likely numerous times,” the authors say.

It’s likely that one or more of these supernovae interacted and blasted Earth’s atmosphere with X-rays. This implies that [supernova] X-ray radiation has had a significant impact on Earth and may have contributed to the evolution of life.”

Supernova X-ray radiation should also be considered when determining “how life can evolve elsewhere in our galaxy and other star-forming regions.”

“As we detect more exoplanets and search for extraterrestrial life, [supernovca] X-ray emission needs to be considered in attempts to quantify habitability and/or locate potential biospheres.”

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