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.