Search for supernova 60Fe in the Earth's microfossil record

S. Bishop, P. Ludwig, R. Egli, T. Faestermann, G. Korschinek, V. Chernenko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Approximately 2.8 Myr before the present our planet was subjected to the debris of a supernova explosion. The terrestrial proxy for this event was the discovery of live atoms of 60Fe in a deep-sea ferromanganese crust. The signature for this supernova event should also reside in magnetite (Fe 3O4) microfossils produced by magnetotactic bacteria extant at the time of the Earth-supernova interaction, provided the bacteria preferentially uptake iron from fine-grained iron oxides and ferric hydroxides. Using empirically derived microfossil concentrations in a deep-sea drill core, we deduce a conservative estimate of the 60Fe fraction as 60Fe/Fe≈3.6×10-15. This value sits comfortably within the sensitivity limit of present accelerator mass spectrometry capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExotic Nuclei and Nuclear/Particle Astrophysics (IV). From Nuclei to Stars - Carpathian Summer School of Physics 2012
Pages187-192
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
EventCarpathian Summer School of Physics 2012: Exotic Nuclei and Nuclear/Particle Astrophysics (IV). From Nuclei to Stars, CSSP 2012 - Sinaia, Romania
Duration: 24 Jun 20127 Jul 2012

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
Volume1498
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616

Conference

ConferenceCarpathian Summer School of Physics 2012: Exotic Nuclei and Nuclear/Particle Astrophysics (IV). From Nuclei to Stars, CSSP 2012
Country/TerritoryRomania
CitySinaia
Period24/06/127/07/12

Keywords

  • biogenic
  • iron
  • magnetofossil
  • magnetosome
  • sediment
  • supernova

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