Supernova dust discovered from Antarctica snow, which is 20 million old
According to study researchers have discovered dust from a supernova or exploded star in the snow taken from Antarctica. The study published in Physical Review Letters claims that the discovery could help to provide learnings about the history of the solar system. Also, we could get to know about the environment in the place surrounding the solar system. A supernova happens when a star explodes and generates dust and gas or clouds which are enriched with radioisotopes. From the study, some of the dust could be from one or more stars which exploded and fell to earth within last 20 million years. Now it’s found in snow which is taken from the sparsely populated continent.
Dominik Koll, who led the research, said he is very glad and happy for seeing something which traveled billions of kilometers from the space to earth. Koll is a nuclear astrophysicist also co-authored the study was very excited to be able to use the data on the Earth. In a conversation with CNN, Koll told that they took about 1,100 pounds (500 kg) of snow from Antarctica and tested in Munich, Germany for space dust. Researchers precisely have chosen the remote area since it’s mostly untouched and decided to test snow due to its purest form. Later, the snow was melted and sifted through, residual materials from it burned and tested using anomalies detecting equipment.
The snow samples tested were found to be positive for iron-60. Iron-60 mostly has more neutrons, making them unstable towards radioactive decay. Most iron in the world is iron-56; the occurrence of iron-60 is due to either from nuclear weapons or cosmic explosions. Researchers were able to prove that the root of iron-60 discovered from the snow was stardust. Though it is unclear that earth is presently in dust cloud or the research is of the residue of cloud which has passed many years ago. However, the discovery could help to find clues about Earths place in larger universe and origin of the cloud.