The death of a star in a spectacular supernova event may have led to the birth of our Sun and solar system, a new study has suggested. The findings are based on new computer simulations developed by Dr Matthias Gritschneder, from Beijing’s Peking University, and colleagues.
Gritschneder and colleagues found shock waves generated by a supernova could have caused the collapse of a molecular gas and dust cloud, eventually leading to the formation of the Sun and planets.
The model also explains unusual isotope readings in some of the oldest bodies of the solar system. Gritschneder and colleagues said their model shows a supernova event 15 light years away was the most likely trigger.
“The blast’s shock wave and hot gases travelled through space eventually colliding with a molecular cloud of cold gas and dust, causing it to quickly collapse, forming the Sun and solar system,” ABC Science quoted Gritschneder as saying.
“It also provides the right ratios of aluminium isotopes to explain the levels found in CV meteorites. “The CV-chondrites probably formed when the temperature of gas cloud dropped below about 1800°C.
“The model also shows how this would have occurred over a period of just 20,000 years, matching isotope measurements which act like time stamps marking the formation of these meteorites to within 20,000 years of each other,” added Gritschneder.
The study was published on the pre-press website ArXiv.org.