Science Current Events | Science News |

New findings on the birth of the solar system

July 20, 2009

A team of international astrophysicists, including Dr Maria Lugaro from Monash University, has discovered a new explanation for the early composition of our solar system.

The team has found that radioactive nuclei found in the earliest meteorites, dating back billions of years, could have been delivered by a nearby dying giant star of six times the mass of the sun.

Dr Lugaro said the findings could change our current ideas on the origin of the solar system.

"We have known about the early presence of these radioactive nuclei in meteorites since the 1960s, but we do not know where they originated from. The presence of the radioactive nuclei has been previously linked to a nearby supernova explosion, but we are showing now that these nuclei are more compatible with an origin from the winds coming from a large dying star," Dr Lugaro said.

The conclusion was reached by combining stellar observations from telescopes with recently developed theoretical models reproduced on powerful computers of how stars evolve and which nuclear reaction occurs within their interiors.

"We need to know if the presence of radioactive nuclei in young planetary systems is a common or a special event in our galaxy because their presence affected the evolution of the first large rocks (the parent bodies of asteroids and meteorites) in the solar system. These are believed to be the source of much of earth's water, which is essential for life," Dr Lugaro said.

"Within one million years of the formation of the solar system the radioactive nuclei decayed inside the rocks where they were trapped, releasing high-energy photons, which caused the rocks to heat. Since much of earth's water is believed to have originated from these first rocks, the possibility of life on earth depends on their heating history and, in turn, on the presence of radioactive nuclei." Dr Lugaro said.

"What we need to do now is investigate the probability that a dying giant star could have actually been nearby our then young solar system and polluted it with radioactive nuclei. This will inform us on the place where the solar system was born, on the probability that other young planetary system also are polluted with radioactive nuclei, and, eventually, on the probability of having water on terrestrial planets in other planetary systems."

Monash University

Related Radioactive Nuclei Current Events and Radioactive Nuclei News Articles

Scientists get set for simulated nuclear inspection
Some 40 scientists and technicians from around the world will descend on Jordan in November to take part in a simulated on-site inspection of a suspected nuclear test site on the banks of the Dead Sea.

Step closer to birth of the sun
Published in Science, the team led by Dr Maria Lugaro and Professor Alexander Heger, from Monash University, have investigated the solar system's prehistoric phase and the events that led to the birth of the sun.

Evidence for a new nuclear 'magic number'
Researchers have come one step closer to understanding unstable atomic nuclei. A team of researchers from RIKEN, the University of Tokyo and other institutions in Japan and Italy has provided evidence for a new nuclear magic number in the unstable, radioactive calcium isotope 54Ca.

Scientists demonstrate pear shaped atomic nuclei
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have shown that some atomic nuclei can assume the shape of a pear which contributes to our understanding of nuclear structure and the underlying fundamental interactions.

Direct measurements allow detailed look at how quarks of different flavors contribute to spin
Scientists hoping to unravel the mystery of proton spin at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a 2.4-mile-circumference particle accelerator at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, have a new tool at their disposal - the first to directly explore how quarks of different types, or "flavors," contribute to the overall spin of the proton.

New 'doubly magic' research reveals role of nuclear shell
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the University of Tennessee (UT) and six collaborating universities have performed an unprecedented nuclear reaction experiment that explores the unique properties of the "doubly magic" radioactive isotope of 132Sn, or tin-132.

Theoretical nuclear physics in China
In recent years several Large-Scale Scientific Facilities (LSSF) for nuclear, hadronic, and particle physics have been upgraded and constructed in China.

Listening to dark matter
A team of researchers in Canada have made a bold stride in the struggle to detect dark matter. The PICASSO collaboration has documented the discovery of a significant difference between the acoustic signals induced by neutrons and alpha particles in a detector based on superheated liquids.

Star light, star bright: FSU facility duplicating conditions of supernovas
How is matter created? What happens when stars die? Is the universe shrinking, or is it expanding? For decades, scientists have been looking for answers to such "big picture" questions.

Little earth
Arts/science video installation to open in London (January) and Scotland (February).
More Radioactive Nuclei Current Events and Radioactive Nuclei News Articles

Radioactive!: How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World

Radioactive!: How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World
by Winifred Conkling (Author)

The fascinating, little-known story of how two brilliant female physicists’ groundbreaking discoveries led to the creation of the atomic bomb.

In 1934, Irène Curie, working with her husband and fellow scientist, Frederic Joliot, made a discovery that would change the world: artificial radioactivity. This breakthrough allowed scientists to modify elements and create new ones by altering the structure of atoms. Curie shared a Nobel Prize with her husband for their work. But when she was nominated to the French Academy of Sciences, the academy denied her admission and voted to disqualify all women from membership. Four years later, Curie’s breakthrough led physicist Lise Meitner to a brilliant leap of understanding that unlocked the secret of nuclear fission. Meitner’s...

Decay Schemes of Radioactive Nuclei

Decay Schemes of Radioactive Nuclei
by B. S. And L K Pekes Dzhelepov (Author)

Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei, and Particles

Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei, and Particles
by Robert Eisberg (Author), Robert Resnick (Author)

A revision of a successful junior/senior level text, this introduction to elementary quantum mechanics clearly explains the properties of the most important quantum systems. Emphasizes the applications of theory, and contains new material on particle physics, electron-positron annihilation in solids and the Mossbauer effect. Includes new appendices on such topics as crystallography, Fourier Integral Description of a Wave Group, and Time-Independent Perturbation Theory.

Radioactive Fallout after Nuclear Explosions and Accidents

Radioactive Fallout after Nuclear Explosions and Accidents
by Yu. A. Izrael (Author)

To achieve successful solutions to the problems resulting from local, distant and global radioactive fallout after nuclear explosions and accidents and to achieve successful retrospective analyses of the radiation conditions from recent observations, certain information is needed: the distribution of the exposure dose rate in the atmosphere and in a country; the distribution of radionuclides in natural environments and the nuclide composition of the radioactive fallout; the features of formation of the aerosol particle-carriers of the radioactivity and of the nuclide distribution of the particles of different sizes formed under different conditions; the processes involved in the migration of radioactive products in different zones and environments; the external and internal effects of...

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials: Principles and Practices (Advances in Environmental Sci.)

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials: Principles and Practices (Advances in Environmental Sci.)
by T. Rick Irvin (Author)

Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials - known in the industry as NORM -has become an important part of the regular training required for workers in oil and gas production, refinery and petrochemical manufacturing, and in certain types of mining. Proper handling of NORM-contaminated wastes and use of appropriate radiation detection and protective equipment are now understood to be important components of good worker safety programs.
Until now, no practical, easy-to-read, book was available to supplement worker training courses on NORM management. Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials: Principles and Practices fills this void by providing, in a single publication, an ideal reference for industry managers, supervisors and line personnel. The book stresses the proper...

RADIOACTIVE CLOUDS OF DEATH OVER UTAH: Downwindersâ Fallout Cancer Epidemic Updated

RADIOACTIVE CLOUDS OF DEATH OVER UTAH: Downwinders’ Fallout Cancer Epidemic Updated
by Daniel W Miles (Author)

I have completed the manuscript with the tentative title Radioactive Clouds of Death Over Utah.. From 1950 to the 1958 moratorium on atmospheric testing, the Atomic Energy Commission detonated over 100 atomic bombs at the Nevada Test Site. The inhabitants of St. George, Utah--the so-called downwinders--were repeatedly in the fly zone of these toxic, wind-blown clouds--so much so that St. George became known nationwide as Fallout City, USA. According to the back cover of John Fuller’s 1984 best seller, The Day We Bomb Utah: America’s Most Lethal Secret, “Within a few years, a plague of cancer and birth defects had ripped through the area---a plague that may have caused the cancer-related deaths of John Wayne and over 100 other cast and crew members of The Conquerer which ...

A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time
by Stephen Hawking (Author)


A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends?

Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of...

Particles and Nuclei: An Introduction to the Physical Concepts (Graduate Texts in Physics)

Particles and Nuclei: An Introduction to the Physical Concepts (Graduate Texts in Physics)
by Bogdan Povh (Author), Klaus Rith (Author), Christoph Scholz (Author), Frank Zetsche (Author), Werner Rodejohann (Author)

This well-known introductory textbook gives a uniform presentation of nuclear and particle physics from an experimental point of view. The first part, Analysis, is devoted to disentangling the substructure of matter. This part shows that experiments designed to uncover the substructures of nuclei and nucleons have a similar conceptual basis, and lead to the present picture of all matter being constructed from a small number of elementary building blocks and a small number of fundamental interactions. The second part, Synthesis, shows how the elementary particles may be combined to build hadrons and nuclei. The fundamental interactions, which are responsible for the forces in all systems, become less and less evident in increasingly complex systems. Such systems are in fact dominated by...

Barron's ACT, 2nd Edition (Barron's Act (Book Only))

Barron's ACT, 2nd Edition (Barron's Act (Book Only))
by Brian W. Stewart M.Ed. (Author)

College-bound students preparing for the ACT will find the help they need in this fully updated edition of Barron's trusted ACT study manual. With over 1,600 practice questions in the book and 432 additional questions on the optional CD-ROM, this manual has the greatest quantity of high-quality review material available. Its helpful features include:A detailed overview of the ACT with comprehensive answers to frequently asked questionsA chapter on optimizing the test-taking mindset and managing test anxietyA full-length diagnostic test with thorough guidance on using the results for targeting preparationThree full-length model tests with comprehensive answer explanationsExtensive subject reviews that cover all parts of the ACT: English, math, reading, science, and the writing testEasy,...

Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe

Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe
by Theodore Gray (Author), Nick Mann (Photographer)

The Elements has become an international sensation, with over one million copies in-print worldwide. 

The highly-anticipated paperback edition of The Elements is finally available.

An eye-opening, original collection of gorgeous, never-before-seen photographic representations of the 118 elements in the periodic table. 

The elements are what we, and everything around us, are made of. But how many elements has anyone actually seen in pure, uncombined form? The Elements provides this rare opportunity. Based on seven years of research and photography, the pictures in this book make up the most complete, and visually arresting, representation available to the naked eye of every atom in the universe. Organized in order of appearance on the periodic table,...

© 2016