cosmic catastrophes, biological effects

Violent events in the Universe, both local and remote, may have profound consequences for life. In some cases, they may prevent life from becoming established at all, while in other others, they may significantly affect the course of a planet's biological evolution. Among the cosmic phenomena that astronomers have identified as being of potential biological importance are:


  • Large-scale stellar flares
  • Nearby supernova explosions
  • Gamma-ray bursters
  • Impacts by asteroids or comets (see cosmic collisions, biological effects)