Cookies

Like most websites The Analytical Scientist uses cookies. In order to deliver a personalized, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. Learn more.
Fields & Applications Mass Spectrometry

Deep Sea Supernovae

Our solar system has been traveling through the local interstellar cloud (LIC) for the last few thousand years – but where did the LIC come from?

To plumb the depths of the mystery, researchers at the Australian National University Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility used accelerator MS to analyze deep-sea sediment samples spanning the last 33,000 years (1). They found that iron-60 – a radionuclide formed by exploding stars – was present throughout the samples, but at a low concentration and with no discernible change in the pattern over time.

More research is needed, but this discovery offers an early indication that the LIC did not arise from a single, recent, nearby supernova. In fact, its iron-60 dust particles could represent “echoes” of numerous other star explosions millions of years old.

Enjoy our FREE content!

Log in or register to gain full unlimited access to all content on the The Analytical Scientist site. It’s FREE!

Login

Or register now - it’s free!

You will benefit from:

  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Analytical Scientist magazine

When you click “Register” we will email you a link, which you must click to verify the email address above and activate your account. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected]nalyticalscientist.com.

  1. A Wallner et al., PNAS, 117, 21873 (2020). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1916769117

About the Author

Lauren Robertson

By the time I finished my degree in Microbiology I had come to one conclusion – I did not want to work in a lab. Instead, I decided to move to the south of Spain to teach English. After two brilliant years, I realized that I missed science, and what I really enjoyed was communicating scientific ideas – whether that be to four-year-olds or mature professionals. On returning to England I landed a role in science writing and found it combined my passions perfectly. Now at Texere, I get to hone these skills every day by writing about the latest research in an exciting, creative way.

Register to The Analytical Scientist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:

  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Analytical Scientist magazine

Register