If you think a big asteroid can wipe out all life forms on Earth, imagine what could happen if a near mass explosion from the center of a supermassive black hole will “kiss” us. The job would be finished a lot quicker and less painful. A similar hypothesis is examined by astronomers, who claim that such an explosion is heading towards Earth right now. Also, there’s a good chance that Earth’s protective atmosphere will save us.
The Australian astronomer Joss Bland-Hawthorn is the one bringing us the bad news: an explosion brought by hot nuclear energy from a supermassive black hole occurred 10 million years ago, and it’s heading in our direction.
It happened before
The ancestors of humans had the privilege to witness a similar event 3.5 million years ago. The director of the Sydney Institute for Astronomy said:
“It’s an amazing thought that, when cave people walked the Earth, if they’d looked off in the direction of the galactic center, they’d have seen some kind of giant ball of heated gas.”
Joss Bland-Hawthorn also says that it’s unlikely for early humans to have been impacted by the flare, due to Earth’s protective atmosphere.
The Sun can be similarly powerful
One of the biggest factors that are sustaining life, our own Sun, can have equally matched bursts of energy. But the atmosphere of Earth does its job pretty well, according to Bland-Hawthorn:
“But I think the most powerful bursts from our Sun would be about the same power — so, bad for satellites and spacewalkers, but our atmosphere protects life pretty well.”
Researchers used data provided by the Hubble Space Telescope in order to be able to date the explosion seen by cavemen 3.5 million years ago. The flare has been named Seyfert by the scientists. It disrupted the Magellanic Stream, a portion of gas left behind by the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, two dwarf galaxies.