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New discovery shows glass made from exploding stars

Silica makes up about 60 percent of the Earth's crust and one particular form, quartz, is a major ingredient or…



Silica makes up about 60 percent of the Earth’s crust and one particular form, quartz, is a major ingredient or sand

The next time you’re gazing out of the window in search of inspiration, keep in mind the material you’re looking through was forged in the heart of an exploding ancient star.

Researchers used NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope to analyze the light emitted by

An international team of scientists said Friday they had detected silica-the main component of glass in the remnants of two distant supernovae billions of light years from Earth. the collapsing mega cluster and obtain silica’s “fingerprint” based on the specific wave length of light the material is known to emit.

A supernova occurs when a large star burns through its own fuel, causing a catastrophic collapse ending in an explosion of galactic proportions. It is in these celestial maelstroms that individual atoms fuse together to form many common elements, including sulfur and calcium.

Silica makes up about 60 percent of the Earth’s crust and one particular form, quartz, is a major ingredient of sand.

As well as glass windows and fiber glass, silica is also an important part of the recipe for industrial concrete.

“We have shown for the first time that the silica produced by the supernovae was significant enough to contribute to the dust throughout the Universe, including the dust that ultimately came together to form our home planet,” said Haley Gomez, from Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy.

“Every time we walk through a window, walk down the pavement or set foot on a sandy beach, we are interacting with material made by exploding stars that burned millions of years ago.” [1

9659005] In 2016, scientists reported they had found traces of lithium-a metal used in the manufacture of many modern-day electronics-at the heart of exploding nova, a phenomenon that occurs when a white dwarf star absorbs hydrogen from a nearby sun.

The study was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society .


Explore further:
The fading ghost of a long-dead star

Journal reference:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society


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