A group of Israeli scientists just simulated what happens during a supernova and discovered something neat.
When some stars start dying, they shoot out iron ‘bullets’ into space.
It has long been understood that the source of iron and other dense elements are due to a star dying and going supernova.
Yet, there is still a lot left to figure out about how the iron from the dying star ended up in the center of the earth or what exactly causes the star to supernova in the first place.
“Most of our iron on Earth comes from supernovae of this kind,” one of the researchers, Noam Soker of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa said. “It is embarrassing that we still don’t know what brings these white dwarfs to explode.”
What Soker and fellow researcher colleague Danny Tsebrenko now theorize, however, is that when a Type 1a supernova does occur, it forms a cloud of star debris called a remnant as well as iron bullets.
According to Soker and Tsebrenko, the so-called iron ‘bullets’ punch through this remnant and whiz out into space.
These mega-sized bullets – thought to be a cloud of molecules rather than solid like metal – are what cause the bumps in the remnant.
They may also ultimately settle down into a dense mass.
According to New Scientist, “Soker and Tsebrenko estimate that these clouds of iron would be several times the mass of Jupiter,” when they first eject from the supernova.
Then, “they would spread and could eventually seed dust clouds with iron that would go on to form stars and planets.”
With much still left to learn about supernova’s and the universe’s origins, the Israeli teams discovery provides an explanation of how iron from a supernova likely landed at the center of our earth.