CHICAGO, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say their findings in a new study challenge the notion that the force of an exploding star kicked off the formation of our solar system.
University of Chicago researchers say a study of meteorites suggests the radioactive isotope iron 60 -- the telltale sign of an exploding star -- is low in abundance and well mixed with solar system material.
This contradicts previous studies that seemed to suggest high amounts of the radioactive isotope in early solar system materials, they said.
Some astronomers have proposed a shock wave from a nearby supernova may have triggered the formation of the sun by causing regions of the dust cloud out of which the solar system formed to collapse and coalesce.
"If you have iron 60 in high abundance in the solar system, that's a 'smoking gun' -- evidence for the presence of a supernova," geophysical sciences Professor Nicolas Dauphas said in a university release.
However, Dauphas and co-researcher Haolan Tang said their analysis gave different results from previous work, suggesting levels of iron 60 were uniform and low in early material.
The duo suggest previous methods of analyzing meteorites kept the samples intact and did not remove impurities sufficiently, which may have led to greater errors in measurement.
Tang and Dauphas suggest the low levels of iron 60 probably came from the long-term accumulation of the isotope in the interstellar medium from the remains countless stars past, instead of a nearby cataclysmic event like a supernova.
|Additional Science News Stories|
BRIDGEPORT, Conn., May 17 (UPI) --More than 20 people were injured Friday when a commuter train in Connecticut derailed and struck a train moving in the opposite direction, officials said.
WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) --James Taylor will headline a concert at the White House next week, when the Library of Congress honors Carole King with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
HILLIARD, Ohio, May 17 (UPI) --Aimee Copeland, the Georgia woman who lost both hands to flesh-eating bacteria, has been given bionic prosthetic hands that she says behave like natural hands.