Supernova flash pushed the young Sun out of its native cloud

A powerful supernova flash first enriched the young Sun with an iron isotope, and then gave it a significant acceleration. A model of this process was created by scientists to explain the differences in the composition of meteorites.

The young Sun formed as a thickening of a gas-dust cloud. Source:

Mystery of the iron isotope in meteorites

Researcher Alan Boss from Carnegie University was able to explain the difference in the isotopic composition of meteorites of different types and create a new model of the origin of the Solar System. Space rocks reaching on Earth are of several types. The simplest and most common of them are called carbonaceous chondrites and contain a large amount of the isotope iron-60.

Iron-60 is a radioactive isotope that is formed exclusively during a supernova explosion. Over time, it turns into cobalt-60. Therefore, by the ratio of these isotopes, we can find out the time of formation of meteorites.

The isotopic composition of carbonaceous chondrites indicates that no more than 2 million years have passed between the supernova explosion and their formation. That is, it was the supernova explosion that led to the condensation of gas in the protoplanetary cloud, which eventually became our Sun. 

How a supernova accelerated the Young Sun

The problem is that other types of meteorites do not give such a picture of the origin of the Solar System. They contain too little iron-60. And for quite a long time this inconsistency has remained a mystery to scientists.

Alan Boss has been modeling the formation of the Solar System for several decades. And in one of the last calculations, he managed to find the answer to the riddle of the composition of meteorites, which does not agree with the theory of a supernova.

According to the latest model, the protoplanetary cloud actually received an initial supply of iron-60 and began to condense, forming the future Sun. However, shortly after that, the shock wave pushed it into another region that was poor in iron isotopes and that’s where the rest of the meteorites formed.

According to

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