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How our solar system survived a supernova explosion

How our solar system survived a supernova explosion

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During a supernova, a large star ejects a lot of its matter into space, posing a danger to other stars and planets. (Avatar) © IMAGO/Panthermedia

Meteorites show that our solar system appears to have survived a supernova explosion. But how could the young solar system survive such a violent explosion?

TOKYO – Meteorites are like fossils that can provide scientists with valuable information about our solar system’s past. An exciting discovery has now been made in meteorites by a team of researchers led by astrophysicist Doris Arzoumanian of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. The team of scientists examined isotopes found in meteorites and discovered signs that our solar system survived a near-supernova explosion about 4.6 billion years ago.

A supernova is the explosion of a star at the end of its life, expelling much of its mass into space. Studies indicate that other celestial bodies very close to the supernova are at extreme risk. If a planet with Earth’s biology was constantly exposed to high-energy radiation from a nearby supernova, it could lead to the extinction of a large number of species – and experts could even imagine a mass extinction.

Our solar system survived a supernova explosion in its original cocoon

In this case, the Japanese research team found that around the time of the formation of the solar system – about 4.6 billion years ago – a large amount of the radioactive aluminum isotope had accumulated in the meteorites they examined. According to the researchers, the most logical explanation is that there must have been a supernova nearby.

But how could Earth and other planets survive such a massive explosion so early in their evolution? The young solar system could have been torn apart by the shock wave, but this clearly did not happen. The research group has developed a theory for this: the “cocoon” in which the solar system was formed apparently served as a kind of “insulator” and absorbed the worst of the shock waves generated by the supernova explosion.

The solar system was protected from the shock waves of the supernova

Stars form in huge clouds of molecular gas made up of so-called filaments. Smaller celestial bodies such as our Sun form along these filaments. Larger stars — including one that may have exploded as a supernova — typically form where filaments intersect. Arzoumanian and her team estimate that it took about 300,000 years for a supernova shock wave to penetrate the filaments surrounding the young solar system.

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“This scenario may have several important implications for our understanding of the formation, evolution, and properties of stellar systems,” the team said in the study. In the specialized magazine Astrophysical Journal Letters published had become. “For example, the host filament could play an important role in protecting the young solar system from ultraviolet radiation from stars, which would evaporate the protostellar disk, affecting its final size, which in turn would have a direct impact on planet formation within it.” “. They added that the disc will be as well. (unpaid bill)

Automated assistance was used in writing this article by the editorial team. The article was carefully examined by editor Tanya Banner before publication.