Analysis unlocks supernova stardust secrets and techniques

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By Calvin S. Nelson

Cassiopeia A is a supernova remnant within the constellation Cassiopeia. Credit score: NASA/CXC/SAO

Curtin College-led analysis has found a uncommon mud particle trapped in an historic extra-terrestrial meteorite that was shaped by a star apart from our solar.

The analysis titled “Atomic-scale Aspect and Isotopic Investigation of 25Mg-rich Stardust from an H-burning Supernova” seems in Astrophysical Journal.

The invention was made by lead creator Dr. Nicole Nevill and colleagues throughout her Ph.D. research at Curtin, now working on the Lunar and Planetary Science Institute in collaboration with NASA’s Johnson House Middle.

Meteorites are largely made up of fabric that shaped in our photo voltaic system and may also include tiny particles which originate from stars born lengthy earlier than our solar.

Clues that these particles, often called presolar grains, are relics from different stars are discovered by analyzing the several types of parts inside them.

Dr. Nevill used a method referred to as atom probe tomography to research the particle and reconstruct the chemistry on an atomic scale, accessing the hidden data inside.

“These particles are like celestial time capsules, offering a snapshot into the lifetime of their guardian star,” Dr. Nevill stated.

“Materials created in our photo voltaic system have predictable ratios of isotopes—variants of parts with totally different numbers of neutrons. The particle that we analyzed has a ratio of magnesium isotopes that’s distinct from something in our photo voltaic system.

“The outcomes have been actually off the charts. Essentially the most excessive magnesium isotopic ratio from earlier research of presolar grains was about 1,200. The grain in our examine has a price of three,025, which is the very best ever found.

“This exceptionally excessive isotopic ratio can solely be defined by formation in a just lately found kind of star—a hydrogen burning supernova.”

Co-author Dr. David Saxey, from the John de Laeter Centre at Curtin stated the analysis is breaking new floor in how we perceive the universe, pushing the boundaries of each analytical methods and astrophysical fashions.

“The atom probe has given us a complete degree of element that we’ve not been in a position to entry in earlier research,” Dr. Saxey stated.

“Hydrogen burning supernova is a kind of star that has solely been found just lately, across the identical time as we have been analyzing the tiny mud particle. The usage of the atom probe on this examine, offers a brand new degree of element serving to us perceive how these stars shaped.”

Co-author Professor Phil Bland, from Curtin’s Faculty of Earth and Planetary Sciences stated new discoveries from finding out uncommon particles in meteorites are enabling us to realize insights into cosmic occasions past our photo voltaic system.

“It’s merely wonderful to have the ability to hyperlink atomic-scale measurements within the lab to a just lately found kind of star.”

Extra data:
Atomic-scale Aspect and Isotopic Investigation of 25Mg-rich Stardust from an H-burning Supernova, The Astrophysical Journal (2024). DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ad2996

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Analysis unlocks supernova stardust secrets and techniques (2024, March 27)
retrieved 27 March 2024

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