It has been surmised that dust particles found in meteorites on earth are probably remains of star explosions that took place many years ago.
Tiny dust particles that come from meteorite material on earth are probably the result of star explosions that occurred billions of years before the formation of our own sun.
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Termed pre-solar grains, these quaint objects come from supernova explosions. Evidence for this comes from particle physics. Subatomic hints about the provenance of these grains have been forthcoming.
The study was published in the prestigious journal Physical Review Letters. The question is whether the dust particles were formed in a classic supernova which is a sort of thermonuclear explosion on a star which is a part of a binary couple.
In the capacity of an explosion, a volley of stellar debris could have been sent forth from the surface of the exploding star. Some of that material may have gone on to form our solar system.
It is almost like recycling. When stars expire, they reject dust and gas which go on to be recycled into future stars and other heavenly bodies.
The stuff of which this meteorite dust is made is over 5 billion years old. Those strange radioactive nuclei which have a role to play in the creation of silicon isotopes within novae were looked into with eagerness by the researchers.
The grains of star dust contain high concentrations of the isotope silicon-30. This isotope contains 14 protons and 16 neutrons. By the way, it is a rarity to see silicon-30 on earth.
Mostly, you find silicon-28 on our planet. While it is a sure thing that silicon-30 is present in novae explosions, it is not known how much quantity of it is produced in the thermonuclear reactions.
Thus the nascent conditions of the grains of dust are put into question. Now, computer simulations will be made of the processes which take place in novae. These will help the scientists explore further into the matter.
The grains of dust are like harbingers of information that lend us clues about the stellar explosions that gave birth to them. Normally, a telescope is pointed towards the star and it is thus studied.
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However, if you could actually hold a piece of star material in your hand and examine it in the lab, that would be an excellent way to analyze it and get to the bottom of the mystery.