PARIS – The next time you look from the window in search of inspiration, note that the material you are looking at is created at the heart of an explosive star.
An international team of scientists said on Friday that it has discovered silica gel – the main component of glass – in the remnants of two distant supernames, billions of light years from Earth.
Researchers have used NASA Spitzer Space Telescope, which analyzed the light emitted by a broken megapark, and obtained a silicone "fingerprint" based on a specific wavelength of light known to emit material.
Supernova occurs when a big star burns through its fuel, causing a catastrophic collapse that ends with an explosion of galactic proportions. In these celestial springs, individual atoms combine together to form a number of common elements, including sulfur and calcium.
Silicon represents about 60 percent of the earth's crust and one special form of silica is the main ingredient of sand.
In addition to glass windows and glass fibers, silica gel is an important part of the recipe for industrial concrete.
"For the first time we have shown that silica gel produced by the supernova is important enough to contribute to dust in the universe, including the dust that finally merged into our home planet," said Haley Gomez of the Cardiff University of Physics and Technology astronomy.
"Every time we look through the window, we walk on the sidewalk or walk on a sandy beach, we cooperate with the material produced by explosive stars that have burned down millions of years ago."
In 2016, scientists reported that traces of lithium-metal, used in the production of many modern electronic devices, were found in the heart of the explosion of a new, phenomenon that occurs when a white dwarf star absorbs hydrogen from the nearby sun.
The study was published in the monthly announcements of the Royal Astronomical Society.