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The Supernova that Shaped the Solar System
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Representations from the model that show that the downward propagating shock wave has compressed the target cloud core and is injecting shock front material through multiple Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) fingers. Credit: Carnegie Institution

Astrobiologists have made a 'shocking' discovery about the evolution of the early solar system. When they analyzed small particles in meteorites, they discovered products left over from the decay of radioactive iron-60. The team of researchers, supported in part by the NAI, developed a new 3-D model to test whether or not the iron-60 could have come from a nearby supernova explosion and then ended up in the meteorites.

They found that a supernova could have blasted radioactive elements into the cloud of dust that surrounded our young sun, triggering a shock wave that caused the cloud to collapse. Ultimately, this means that without a nearby supernova, the Earth may not have developed into the habitable world we know today.

The study, led by Alan Boss at the Carnegie Institution for Science, was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Source: [Carnegie Institution for Science ]

Last Updated: 30 August 2013

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Last Updated: 30 Aug 2013