A Japanese oil exploration company recently dug up some samples from the Pacific Ocean floor and donated them to researchers. Those researchers, led by Dr. Anton Wallner at the Australian National University, then found the first ever evidence of a plutonium radioactive isotope that originally came from outer space. Now scientists are trying to understand what could have created that isotope, and another intriguing extraterrestrial one, and what that might have meant for Earth’s cosmic neighborhood a few million years ago.Continue reading “Shrapnel From Relatively Recent Supernovae Found in the Earth’s Crust”
Black holes are the ultimate limit of gravitational collapse. Bring enough mass into a small enough volume, and its own weight will squeeze the mass into oblivion. All that remains is a warped pocket of space that it can trap anything that strays too close, even light.Continue reading “Astronomers Just Detected Either the Least Massive Black Hole, or a Strange and Massive Neutron Star”
For about a century now, scientists have theorized that the metals in our Universe are the result of stellar nucleosynthesis. This theory states that after the first stars formed, heat and pressure in their interiors led to the creation of heavier elements like silicon and iron. These elements not only enriched future generations of stars (“metallicity”), but also provided the material from which the planets formed.
More recent work has suggested that some of the heaviest elements could actually be the result of binary stars merging. In fact, a recent study by two astrophysicists found that a collision which took place between two neutron stars billions of years ago produced a considerable amount of some of Earth’s heaviest elements. These include gold, platinum
Welcome to the 583rd Carnival of Space! The Carnival is a community of space science and astronomy writers and bloggers, who submit their best work each week for your benefit. We have a fantastic roundup today so now, on to this week’s worth of stories!
Continue reading “Carnival of Space #583”