Alien stone in Egyptian desert comes from rare supernova, scientists say
Baku, May 21, AZERTAC
A strange alien space rock discovered in the Sahara Desert could be Earth’s first evidence of a rare type of supernova.
According to Live Science, the chemical makeup of the Hypatia Stone, which was first discovered in Egypt in 1996, suggests it may contain dust and gas that once surrounded a huge type of supernova, the spectacular explosion of a dying star.
Type Ia supernovae typically occur inside clouds of dust where a white dwarf, or the shrunken envelope of a collapsed star, shares an orbit with a larger, younger star that still has fuel to burn.
The smaller, denser white dwarf uses its immense gravitational pull to rip some of the fuel from the younger star, which it relentlessly gorges on, stretching the younger star into a teardrop shape.
Once formed, probably somewhere in the outer solar system, the rock eventually hurtled to Earth, breaking into fragments upon landing.
To determine the origin of the rock, the researchers performed a chemical analysis of a tiny sample of the Hypatia Stone using non-destructive techniques. These revealed that the rock contained unusually low amounts of silicon, chromium and manganese – rare elements in the inner solar system – while also having abnormally high levels of iron, sulfur, phosphorus, copper and vanadium for objects in our cosmic neighborhood.
An exhaustive search of star data and modeling left the team with no other likely explanation for the rock’s origin than a Type Ia supernova, which would account for the stone’s unusual concentrations of elements.
The ratios of eight of the 15 elements analyzed by the researchers (silicon, sulfur, calcium, titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese and nickel) correspond very closely to the concentrations predicted for a white dwarf explosion.
Six of the stone’s elements – aluminum, phosphorus, chlorine, potassium, copper and zinc – are present in concentrations ranging from 10 to 100 times what would be expected from a Type Ia supernova. .
The researchers believe this could point to the supernova’s origins as a red giant star that retained more of its original elemental composition than models predicted.
Scientists have published their findings on the strange alien rock in an upcoming issue of the journal Icarus.
AZERTAG.AZ :Alien stone in Egyptian desert comes from rare supernova, scientists say
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