A new theory asks: Is this how the solar system was formed?

Wick Haxton part of team focussing on low-mass supernova

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Astronomers admit that there is still much to know about the solar system. Even after much extensive study about it and the planets that comprise it, there is still much mystery that surrounds the solar system that astronomers are only beginning to understand. One of these is how the solar system has been formed. A new theory asks: is this how the solar system was formed?

There have been quite a few theories on how the solar system has been formed. Now researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Physics and Astronomy have proposed that a low mass supernova has started the solar system. Professor Yong-Zhong Qian and his team have created a model and taken evidence from meteorites to propose that a low mass supernova could have started the solar system.

Qian and his team have focused on short-lived nuclei that could be found in the early solar system to see how it was formed. These nuclei have short lifespans. With their short lifespans, it has been suggested that they could have come from a supernova. Qian has been able to find these nuclei through the decay products found on meteorites.

"This is the forensic evidence we need to help us explain how the solar system was formed," Qian said. The meteorites are said to be the remains that came from the formation of the solar system, according to Science Daily. Through its study, astronomers can know more about the solar system and its origins.

Working with Qian is lead author Projiwal Banerjee, a former Ph.D. student and postdoctoral research associate. Also working with them are Alexander Heger of Monash University and Wick Haxton of the University of California Berkeley. The team focused on a low-mass supernova since a high-mass supernova would not have left any of the evidence found in meteorites.

By using models of a low-mass supernova, Qian and his team have been able to demonstrate that it is the one that most consistently has shown to have left the evidence on meteorites, as Phys Org reports. The team would next study short-lived nuclei on meteorites more closely. Knowing more about these would help, as a new theory asks: is this how the solar system was formed? Astronomers are also looking into dark matter, and a new telescope is being made to look into it.

Rodney Rafols
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