Cosmic dust forms in supernovae blasts

Cosmic dust forms in supernovae blasts
Credit: Cardiff University

Scientists claim to have solved a longstanding mystery as to how cosmic dust, the building blocks of stars and planets, forms across the Universe.

Cosmic contains tiny fragments or organic material and is spread out across the Universe. The dust is primarily formed in stars and is then blown off in a slow wind or a massive star explosion.

Up until now, astronomers have had little understanding as to why so much exists in the , with theoretical estimates suggesting it should be obliterated by supernova explosions.

A supernova is an event that occurs upon the violent death of a star and is one of the most powerful events in the Universe, producing a shockwave which destroys almost anything in its path.

Yet new research published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society has observed the survival of cosmic dust around the closest detected to us, Supernova 1987A.

Observations using NASA's research aircraft, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), have detected cosmic dust in a distinctive set of rings that form part of Supernova 1987A.

The results seem to suggest that there is rapid growth of cosmic dust within the rings, leading the team to believe that dust may actually be re-forming after it is destroyed in the wake of a blast wave.

This immediacy – that the post-shock environment might be ready to form or re-form dust – had never been considered before, and may be pivotal in fully understanding how cosmic dust is both created and destroyed.

"We already knew about the slow-moving dust in the heart of 1987A," said Dr. Mikako Matsuura, lead author on the paper from the School of Physics and Astronomy.

"It formed from the created in the core of the dead star. But the SOFIA observations tell us something completely new."

Cosmic dust particles can be heated from tens to hundreds of degrees causing them to glow at both infrared and millimeter wavelengths. Observations of millimeter-wave dust emission can generally be carried out from the ground using telescopes; however, observations in the infrared are almost impossible to interference from the water and carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere.

By flying above most of the obscuring molecules, SOFIA provides access to portions of the infrared spectrum not available from the ground.


Explore further

Milky Way's center unveils supernova 'dust factory'

More information: Mikako Matsuura et al. SOFIA mid-infrared observations of Supernova 1987A in 2016 – forward shocks and possible dust re-formation in the post-shocked region, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018). DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty2734
Provided by Cardiff University
Citation: Cosmic dust forms in supernovae blasts (2019, February 20) retrieved 23 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-cosmic-supernovae-blasts.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
558 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Feb 20, 2019
The dust rings were already present and were collected along the quantized graviton-orbitals of the star, before it became super nova. They were made visible as soon and when the intense light from the explosion was reflected from these two ring in a time lag due the finite travel time of light, the distance between the two rings and that from the earth.

The idea proposed that the dust rings formed so quickly after the explosion; is not physics but the mystery of metaphysics; so prevalent with official science!
https://www.amazo...40414445

Feb 20, 2019
Sorry, a more direct and easily accessible reference to SN 1987A should have been the following journal article:
https://cirworld....iew/7484

Feb 20, 2019
bbcon, either you lack reading comprehension or you are deliberately re-writing the material posted to phys.org.

Deliberately to misrepresent the involved researchers work.
With specious claims based upon woomongering publications lacking all credibility.

In addition to ignoring the contributing paper. Reviewed & published by the RAS.
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty2734

"... The results seem to suggest that there is rapid growth of cosmic dust within the rings, leading the team to believe that dust may actually be re-forming after it is destroyed in the wake of a supernova blast wave...."

This immediacy – that the post-shock environment might be ready to form or re-form dust ..."

Feb 20, 2019
Hey Folks, be careful a God like creature rrwillsj who is the know all see all creature. Shoots all ideas down that aren't his, just ignore him.

Feb 21, 2019
It wasn't @rrwillsj's idea, it was in the paper. He's referencing other scientists' work, not pushing his own unscientific handwaving.

Scientific discussion is all about presentation and response, followed by response, and response, and... Disagreement doesn't mean you think you're a god, although it looks like some responses try to reference their gods instead of science...

"Official science" is the way science works; it's a self-correcting machine that actually does a damn good job at what it does.

Feb 21, 2019
Hey Folks, be careful a God like creature rrwillsj who is the know all see all creature. Shoots all ideas down that aren't his, just ignore him.


Between you and him I would ignore you, since he most often points out crackpots like the one that started the thread here with pseudoscience claims based on mentioning the key word "quantum" and referencing a crackpot communist philosophy [!] soup book like the ones Engels liked to smear pages with.

That does not mean he is always correct, but you pitched 100 % wrong on this instance. (Plus you make yourself sound like a religious leaning crackpot/crackpot sockpuppet...)

Feb 21, 2019
I'm not a god?
Bummer!

It is true I a lack much pf the scientific & mathematics education needed to comprehend the empirical research upon which these pop-science articles are based.

I certainly enjoy stretching my mind, even if my opinions are several different versions of wrong.
Unlike the woomomgers.
I am not frighten to admit when I am proven wrong.

I also enjoy browsing science. Real Science is fun!
Real fakery & outright criminal fraud are fun to expose. With a swift boot to their ass!

As for hokumman?
I am a vengeful deity!
Holoman is forever damned to be trapped, watching the buzzing flies.
As Ms Jones is moaning her distress behind him.

Feb 22, 2019
@rrwillsj,

You have the proper attitude -- I've admitted I was wrong many times (the times I was right more than make up for the times I was wrong, and I've been right more often than I've been wrong, mostly because I'm very careful about what I do, but even great care cannot prevent every mistake).

Non-scientists should be on these sites along with scientists; that gives them the chance to talk with professional scientists, and that can be a wonderful thing. It is just as wonderful for scientists to get a chance to talk with non-scientists, as we often have no idea how what we do is perceived by non-scientists, especially as non-scientists don't know just how much of what we do in our ivory towers and observatories and particle accelerators and whatnot has direct effects on their lives -- it's far more than they generally realize.

I certainly can't complain about your posts!

I'm not a god, either -- and I don't want to be one. Not even a femtosecond of time off...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more