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Thu Jun 13, 2019, 01:37 AM

Supernovas May Seed the Universe with More Stardust Than Predicted

Supernovas May Seed the Universe with More Stardust Than Predicted
By Passant Rabie 18 hours ago Science & Astronomy

More stardust came from supernova stars than previously thought

An artist's rendering of an outer shell of gas and dust surrounding a giant supernova.(Image: Photo12/Universal Images/Getty)

Scientists have discovered a new population of stardust that originated from supernovas. The finding suggests that more interstellar dust formed from these massive star explosions than scientists previously thought.

The quest to study cosmic dust samples brought to Earth by meteorites has been ongoing for the past 30 years. But this study marks the first time that scientists were able to distinguish components of the dust that were created by supernova explosions.

Using a nanoscale imaging spectrometer called Cameca NanoSIMS 50L, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany were able to measure the chemical composition of tiny grains of stardust by observing them with unprecedented resolution. The researchers analyzed the chemical makeup of several grains of stardust, drawing conclusions about the cosmic origins of those grains.

The team began its research with the aim of testing models for nucleosynthesis, or how new atoms are formed by red giant stars; these are dying stars in their last stages of stellar evolution.


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