(ORDO NEWS) — Half of the calcium in our universe comes from supernova explosions, according to a new study. This means that the material that makes up our teeth and bones is essentially the remnants of dead stars that exploded a long time ago.
“These events are so few that we never knew what led to such a supernova,” said Wynn Jacobson-Galan, a Northwest graduate student and lead author of a new study published in the Astrophysical Journal this week.
“As we watched what happened to the supernova in the last month before it reached its tumultuous end, we looked into a previously unexplored place, opening up new opportunities for study,” added Jacobson-Galan.
An extremely bright event 55 million light-years from Earth caught the attention of the international astronomical community in April 2019.
“Every country with a telescope turned to look at this object,” recalls Jacobson-Galan.
Astronomers were so fast that many watched the supernova just ten hours after the explosion. “The explosion is trying to cool down,” said Raffaella Margutti of Northwestern University and senior author of the study in a statement. “He gives up his energy, and the release of calcium is an effective way to do this.”
As it turned out, a huge amount of calcium was thrown out during the explosion.
Astronomers caught this event just in time to conclude that it was the largest amount of calcium ever observed and released from a single event.
Contact us: [email protected]