Origin & Evolution of Life

"Little Bang" Triggered Solar System Formation

By Keith Cowing
October 2, 2008

Astrophysicists from the NAI’s Carnegie Institution of Washington team and their colleagues have shown for the first time that a supernova could have triggered the solar system’s formation under conditions of rapid heating and cooling. For several decades, scientists have thought that the solar system formed as a result of a shock wave from an exploding star–a supernova–that triggered the collapse of a dense, dusty gas cloud that contracted to form the sun and the planets. But detailed models of this formation process have only worked under the simplifying assumption that the temperatures during the violent events remained constant. The results, published in the October 20, 2008, issue of the Astrophysical Journal, have resolved this long-standing debate.

Source: NAI Newsletter

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