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Tue Aug 13, 2019, 04:15 PM

Space Dust from Ancient Supernova Found Hiding in Antarctica

By Mindy Weisberger 3 hours ago Space

Iron traces in snowfall originated in a stellar explosion millions of years ago.

Cosmic dust found in Antarctic snow was likely birthed in a distant supernova millions of years ago. The dust's interstellar journey eventually brought the material to Earth, where scientists discovered the ancient grains.

This dust stood out because it contains an iron isotope called iron-60, which is commonly released by supernovas but very rare on Earth. (Isotopes are versions of elements that differ in the numbers of neutrons in their atoms.)

In the search for elusive space dust, scientists analyzed more than 1,100 lbs. (500 kilograms) of surface snow that they gathered from a high-altitude region of Antarctica near the German Kohnen Station. In that location, the snow would be mostly free of contamination from terrestrial dust, the researchers reported in a new study.

The investigators then sent the still-frozen snow to a lab in Munich, where it was melted and filtered to isolate dust particles that could contain traces of material from space. When the scientists examined the incinerated dust using an accelerator mass spectrometer, they detected the rare iron-60 isotope a relic of an ancient supernova.


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Reply Space Dust from Ancient Supernova Found Hiding in Antarctica (Original post)
Judi Lynn Aug 13 OP
ProudMNDemocrat Aug 13 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Aug 13, 2019, 05:35 PM

1. Queen guitarist Brian May's Doctorate thesis......

Was on Planetary Dust. Interesting. I am sure he saw this article.

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