Gas barrier can protect young Solar System against supernova

A filament of cloud gas that originated in the Solar System may serve as a barrier, protecting the system against the explosion of a nearby supernova

A supernova could have exploded by then when the Solar System was in formation, but fortunately, a filament of molecular gas protected it, as if a shield was fused. The discovery comes from the calculations of researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, who will analyze the ratio of isotopes in meteorites.

Solar system was formed from a cloud of gas and poeira about 4.5 billion years ago. To understand what conditions were like in this period, scientists study meteorites, fragments of space rocks that keep information about the birth of our vizinhança and two planets.

In this study, researchers led by Doris Arzoumanian, a member of the observatory, were investigating how the Solar System changed the quantity of isotopes observed in meteorites. They will notice that these rocks have unequal amounts of the radioactive aluminum isotope, which suggests that they received an extra amount of it during the formation of our system.

A better explanation for this would be a supernova, which would have exploded when the system was in formation. I know that, should this ever happen, the shock wave would be strong enough to destroy the young Solar System. Therefore, they propose that something should be protected by the Sun and the young planets.

For the authors, the secret was not molecular gas. It forms large clouds in filaments and, from them, small stars are born, like the Sun, and other larger ones, which can explode in supernovae. Considering that the Sun arose in a filament of dense molecular gas and that some supernova exploded, it would take 300 thousand years for it to break the structure of formation of the Solar System.

The meteorites present isotopes formed in the first 100 thousand years of the Solar System, when the Sun and the young planets were still in the filament. Therefore, this structure can protect our system, and still collect the radioactive isotopes released by the supernova, which will end up being incorporated into the meteorites.