This stone from space, the first evidence of this supernova

This stone from space, the first evidence of this supernova

Image for the article titled This stone from space is the first evidence on Earth of a strange supernova

picture: University of Johannesburg

In 1996, a piece of rock weighing 30 grams was found near the Egyptian-Libyan border. It was unusual for him to be named Hypatia Stone after the Egyptian mathematician who was murdered by religious fanatics. It was a meteorite, and a new study gave the sample unique character.

As the researchers explained, the chemical composition and rock pattern indicate that the fragments contain elements of the dust and gas cloud surrounding a Type Ia supernova, that is, those that occur when a dense white dwarf is present. absorb for another star. According to geochemist Jan Kramers of the university From Johannesburg, South Africa:

Over billions of years, this mixture of dust and gas turned into a solid, forming the main body from which Hypatia arose sometime around the creation of our solar system. In a sense, we can say that we experienced a supernova explosion Ia during the act, because the gas atoms from the explosion were trapped in the surrounding dust cloud, which eventually formed the main body of Hypatia.

Image for the article titled This stone from space is the first evidence on Earth of a strange supernova

picture: University of Johannesburg

At work lately published They say that through detailed, non-destructive chemical analysis techniques, they observed 17 different targets in a small sample of Hypatia. From there, it was all about gathering clues about where the stone was and how it formed.

These clues (such as the unusually low level of silicon and manganese) indicate that the rocks did not form in the inner solar system. They also note high levels of iron, sulfur, phosphorous, copper and vanadium, which make the body stand out from all else. The thing we saw in our “periphery”.

Image for the article titled This stone from space is the first evidence on Earth of a strange supernova

picture: University of Johannesburg

Not just this. The study also showed that Hypatia does not match what would be expected if it came from a Type II supernova (much iron compared to silicon and calcium) leaving the possibility that it was a Type II supernova remnant. Ia, the first can be found on this planet. According to Kramers:

If this hypothesis is correct, then the Hypatia stone would be the first concrete evidence on Earth of a Type Ia supernova explosion. Perhaps just as importantly, it shows that a single, anomalous bundle of dust from outer space can be incorporated into the solar nebula from which our solar system was formed, without completely mixing.

In any case, further studies will be needed to find out and approve road That this sample has stunned science. Although the 15 elements were analyzed, most coincided with what would have been expected if the object had come from the explosion of a white dwarf star, and some of these elements They did not do this with the Type Ia supernova models.[[[[IFLScience]

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