Solar system starter


A new study suggests a nearby supernova caused a massive gas cloud to collapse – and form the solar system.


BERNHARD MUELLER, MNRAS 453, 287-310 (2015)

New computer models and evidence from meteorites show that a low-mass star explosion triggered the formation of our solar system.

About 4.6 billion years ago, a cloud of gas and dust that eventually formed our solar system was disturbed.

The ensuing gravitational collapse formed the proto-sun with a surrounding disc where the planets were born. A supernova – a star exploding at the end of its life-cycle – would have enough energy to induce the collapse of such a gas cloud.

The image above is a supercomputer model of a low-mass supernova. The research was published in Nature Communications.

  1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms13639
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