70,000 years ago, a nomadic star came within a light-year of the Sun, likely sending dozens of comets and asteroids tumbling out of the solar system

Around 70,000 years ago, a supervolcano named Toba erupted, blowing roughly 670 cubic miles (2,800 cubic kilometers) of vaporized rock and debris into the air. This is thought to have caused a massive struggle for humanity, ultimately leading to a population bottleneck that whittled down our numbers to as few as 1,000 reproductive adults. According to a 2015 study, during this pivotal point in human history, a small reddish star also was likely passing within a light-year of the Sun, just skimming the outer rim of the Oort cloud (the extended shell of over a trillion icy objects that is thought to cocoon the outer solar system).
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