Titanium bubbles discovered in supernova could help solve mystery of exploding stars
April 27, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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Titanium has been discovered in the beautiful remnants of the Cassiopeia A supernova, about 11,000 light-years away. The element, used in electronics and jewelry, is thought to originate from the explosions of massive stars.
(CNN)Titanium has been discovered in the beautiful remnants of the Cassiopeia A supernova about 11,000 light-years away.
This discovery could help scientists understand what leads some giant stars to explode, according to the new study.
"Scientists think most of the titanium that is used in our daily lives -- such as in electronics or jewelry -- is produced in a massive star's explosion," said lead study author Toshiki Sato, an assistant professor in the department of physics at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, in a statement.
If the celestial body becomes a neutron star, a shock wave ripples out from the star, creating new elements as nuclear reactions occur.
These ghostly low-mass particles, created when a neutron star forms, could spur on bubbles of elements that rocket away, pushing the shock wave onward and allowing for a supernova.
The explosion that created the Cassiopeia A supernova was likely driven by neutrinos, according to the new study.
"We have never seen this signature of titanium bubbles in a supernova remnant before, a result that was only possible with Chandra's incredibly sharp images," said study coauthor Keiichi Maeda, an associate professor in the department of astronomy at Kyoto University in Japan, in a statement.
This means that fragments of titanium were created deep within the star as the supernova occurred.