The meteorite has helped astronomers to solve the mystery of the birth of cosmic dust

© ESA/Hubble & NASAТуманность NGC 6326 in the Altar constellationThe meteorite has helped astronomers to solve the mystery of the birth of cosmic dust© ESA/Hubble & NASA

Grains of cosmic dust, from which emerged the Earth and other planets, there are the remains of a supernova immediately, but a few years after the explosion of a star, say scientists in an article published in the journal Science Advances.

«When this process starts, the dust is continuously formed over several years and accumulates in the nebula, which completely corresponds to how much dust astronomers usually find in the vicinity of exploded stars. The more we learn about how there is this dust, the better we understand the history of the evolution of the Universe,» said Nan Liu (Nan Liu) from the Carnegie institution for science in Washington (USA).

Supernovae erupt as a result of gravitational collapse of massive stars, when the heavy nucleus is compressed and creates a wave off the emitted light substance outer layers of the star into space. The result is a glowing nebula gas that continues to grow for some time after the explosion.

In recent years, the scientists recorded and studied hundreds of supernova explosions that has helped to learn a lot about the birth of the elements heavier than iron, how could the Solar system and what role do supernovae play in the evolution of galaxies.

As noted by Liu, the main mystery of the supernova is still the question of where exactly and how are grains, of which subsequently arise clouds of gas and dust where new stars are born.

Part of astronomers believes that most of these «Stroilov planets» occurs almost immediately after the explosion of a star, but others suggest that they are formed even before the death star — in a time when it turns into a red giant and flushed a huge amount of matter.

Liu and his colleagues attempted to resolve these disputes in an unusual way – they do not have to follow supernovae, and analyzed the composition of primitive asteroids that have fallen to the Ground. According to planetary scientists, these asteroids are microscopic grains of carbon dust, which arose before the Sun ignited.

As they are associated with a supernova? The fact that the proportion of isotopes of certain chemical elements — silicon, titanium and vanadium depends on what part of the nebula has any grain. For example, the proportion of silicon-28 indicates how close they were to the epicenter of the explosion, and the ratio of shares unstable vanadium-49, and titanium-49 – at the time of birth.

So the scientists measured the proportion of silicon and the decay products of the isotopes of metals in large meteorite that crashed in the vicinity of the Australian city of Murchison in 1969.

These measurements showed that the future «strojjblok» the planets did not arise immediately after the explosion, a supernova, or before him, and about two years after the death of a star. Slow formation of dust, as scientists believe, could specifically affect the chemical composition of the planets future. This assumption astronomers plan to test in the near future, watching real.