Thanks to evidence found in the deep sea, an ancient mystery regarding the solar system have been solved.
Professor Walner was conducting research at the Australian National University (ANU). His study showed Earth has been traveling for the last 33,000 years through a cloud of faintly radioactive dust.
The researchers used HIAF’s mass spectrometer to search through several deep-sea sediments that dated back 33000 years. Clear traces of isotope iron-60 were found. Isotope iron-60 is formed when stars die in supernova explosions and as Iron-60 is radioactive, it decays away within 15 million years. So, it means that these traces of iron-60 arrived fairly soon from nearby supernovae.
The Solar system has been moving through a denser cloud of gas and dust for the last few thousand years. Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC) is the name given to this dense cloud of gas and dust. The origins of LIC are unclear. The cloud would contain Iron-60 if it had originated recently, so the team decided to find more. And quite expectedly, they found more iron-60 at low levels. The iron-60 was spread throughout the entire 33000 year measurement period.
“There are recent papers that suggest iron-60 trapped in dust particles might bounce around in the interstellar medium,” Professor Wallner said.
The findings have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.