A strange extraterrestrial space rock unearthed in Sahara The desert may be the first evidence of The earth for a rare type of supernova.
The chemical composition of Hypatia rock, first discovered in Egypt in 1996, suggests that it may contain dust and gas once surrounded a kind of massive supernova, the spectacular explosion of a dying star.
Type Ia supernovae typically take place inside dust clouds, where a white dwarf, or the collapsed shell of a collapsed star, shares an orbit with a larger, younger star that still remains. some fuel left to burn. The smaller and denser white dwarf uses its massive gravity to pick up some of the younger star’s fuel, which it sucks in endlessly, stretching the young star into a teardrop shape. However, the act of cannibalism in the universe eventually ended in mutual annihilation, when the vampire white dwarf grew large enough for nuclear reactions to reunify in its core. After a sudden flash of light, a massive supernova blast throws the irradiated substances of both stars outward to mix and merge with the dust.
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In the case of the Hypatia rock, the dust and gas mixture is likely to drift through space for billions of years until it reaches our cosmic backyard, eventually solidifying into the Hypatia rock’s larger parent body. at some point in our birth. solar system, new research shows. Once formed, it is likely that somewhere in the outer solar system, the rock eventually damaged to The earthbroke into pieces when it hit the ground.
“In a sense, we could say, we caught an Ia supernova in action, because the gas atom from the explosion were caught in the surrounding dust cloud, eventually forming Hypatia’s mother body,” said study lead author Jan Kramers, a geochemist at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, said in a statement.
To find out where the rock came from, the researchers performed a chemical analysis of a small sample of Hypatia rock using a non-destructive technique. These reveal that the rock has unusually low levels of silicon, chromium and manganese – rare elements in the inner solar system – and unusually high levels of iron, sulfur, phosphorus, copper and vanadium for with objects in our cosmic region.
“We found a consistent pattern of trace element abundance that is completely different from anything in the solar system, primitive or evolved. Asteroid belt objects and meteorite Kramers said.
Further tests, comparing the rock’s elemental concentrations to those we would expect to see in our region of space, yielded more surprising results – the rock isn’t even from the galactic arm our own, and it has too much iron, too little silicon, and too low concentrations of elements heavier than iron to come from a single explosion of a red dwarf (a Type II supernova).
The exhaustive search of stellar data and modeling left the team with no other possible explanation for the rock’s origin other than a Type Ia supernova, which would account for the unusual elemental concentration of the rock. stone. The proportions of eight of the 15 elements analyzed by the researchers (silicon, sulfhur, calcium, titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese, and nickel) were very close to the concentrations predicted for a white dwarf explosion.
“If this hypothesis is correct, then the Hypatia rock would be the first tangible evidence on Earth of a Type Ia supernova,” Kramers said. “Perhaps equally important, it shows that an anomalous dust pack from outer space could indeed be incorporated in the solar nebula our Solar System formed from without mixing. completely.”
But the doubts are still there. Six of the rock’s elements – aluminum, phosphorus, chlorine, potassium, copper and zinc – are present in concentrations that range from 10 to 100 times that expected for a type Ia supernova. The researchers suggest that this could point to the origin of the supernova as a red giant star that has preserved more of its original elemental composition than models predicted.
“Since a white dwarf is formed from a dying red giant, Hypatia may have inherited these elemental ratios to six elements from a red giant,” Kramers said. This was observed in white dwarfs in another study”.
Scientists have published their discovery of the strange alien rock in an upcoming issue of the journal Icarus.
Originally published on Live Science.
https://www.livescience.com/space-rock-has-supernova-traces Alien stone in Egyptian desert came from rare supernova, scientists say