The cosmic dust in the Antarctic Snow could be from an ancient supernova resulted from a stellar explosion millions of years ago.
“By ruling out terrestrial and cosmogenic sources [shaped by cosmic rays], we conclude that we have found, for the first time, recent iron-60 with interstellar origin in Antarctica,” the researchers wrote.
- The cosmic grains found hiding in the Antarctic snow is now being speculated to come from a distant supernova million of years ago.
- The dust came into the researcher’s notice when they found iron isotope called iron-60, which is very rare on our planet and commonly released by supernovas.
- The scientists investigated 1,100 lbs of surface snow from the high-altitude region of Antarctica.
- According to the researchers, the earth may have some iron-60 in its infancy, but the isotope is long decayed by now.
- Iron-60 is also produced in nuclear but the amount is insignificant and confined to the reactors where it is made.
- Nuclear tests may have dispersed iron-60 on earth’s surface but still, the amount would have been very low to what they have found on the Antarctic.
- Iron-60 was previously detected in ancient deep-sea deposits or in rocks that originated in space.