Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stardust on Ocean Floor Shows Gold and Uranium Alchemy in Stars is Much Less Frequent Than Expected

26.01.2015

Researchers combing the ocean depths have made a surprising discovery about the frequency with which stars beyond our solar system produce special heavy elements such gold and uranium.

Stellar explosions such as supernovae or star collisions emit extremely bright light and vast amounts of energy and heavy matter. Half of the heavy elements in nature, including gold and uranium, are created during such events, yet their frequency and their very sites in the Galaxy remain a mystery.

By analyzing samples from the deep-sea floor that accumulated over millions of years, an international team of researchers concluded that the frequency of such events is much lower than expected.

The researchers analyzed core samples collected from the Pacific Ocean floor at about 4500 m water depth. They measured Pu-244, a rare isotope of plutonium that accumulated in the deep sea from the deposition of interstellar particles.

According to study co-author Prof. Michael Paul at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Racah Institute of Physics, "Our analysis of galactic debris that fell to Earth and settled in our oceans shows about 100 times less plutonium than we originally expected."

According to Prof. Paul, "The stellar dust that collects in our oceans provides new information about the far reaches of space as well as our own planet. Our research challenges current theories about supernovae and compounds the mystery surrounding how our solar system received its share of heavy elements. However it could be consistent with a particular astrophysical scenario, namely collisions or mergers of two neutron stars in the Milky Way Galaxy."

The findings are published in the January 2015 edition of the prestigious journal Nature Communications, as "Abundance of live 244Pu in deep-sea reservoirs on Earth points to rarity of actinide nucleosynthesis."


Partial funding for the research was provided by the Israel Science Foundation.
For information or interviews, contact:

Dov Smith
Hebrew University Foreign Press Liaison
02-5882844 / +972-54-8820860
dovs@savion.huji.ac.il

Dov Smith | Hebrew University
Further information:
http://www.huji.ac.il

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht A promising target in the quest for a 1-million-year-old Antarctic ice core
24.05.2018 | University of Washington

nachricht Tropical Peat Swamps: Restoration of Endangered Carbon Reservoirs
24.05.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>