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Out of curiosity, is it possible that some cataclysmic event in the universe happened thousands of years ago that has yet to reach and potentially affect Earth?

According to Wikipedia, there are six near-Earth supernova candidates. Effects range from destruction of the ozone layer to 3–4 °C of global warming.


Gamma ray bursts travel at the speed of light: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-ray_burst#WR_104:_A_near...

I'm also interested. And adding to the question: Is it possible that this particular flare-up may be a forward echo of such an event? I.e. have we observed this happen before in other parts of the Universe?

It would need to travel faster than light

Somewhat related: Jack McDewitt's "The Devil's eye" is about a similar scenario.

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