Scientists discovered Phosphorous in remnants of Supernova

Astronomers have, for the first time, discovered phosphorous — one of the vital elements for life — in the cosmic remains from a supernova explosion.

It has been found that phosphorus is 100 times more abundant in the leftovers of a supernova than elsewhere in the galaxy, affirming the hypothesis that massive exploding stars are the churning factories of the element.
While researches have calculated the abundance of essential life elements like carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and sulphur in supernovae remains, supernova remnant Cassiopeia A disclosed the first measurement of the relatively scarce phosphorus. The new observations of the object were made with a spectrograph positioned on a 5-meter telescope at Palomar Observatory at the California Institute of Technology.

What are Supernovae and Supernova remnant?

A supernova is a celestial event which happens when massive stars exhaust their nuclear fuel and explode in a spectacular fashion. Being extremely luminous, they briefly outshine an entire galaxy, before fading from view over several days.

During a short period of some weeks or months, a supernova can radiate as much energy as the Sun is expected to emit over its entire life span. Once it fades away, what remains is an expanding shell of gas and dust called a supernova remnant.

What is the scientific thought on the formation of essential life elements?

As per astronomers, these elements are formed in the stars and are dissipated throughout our galaxy when the star explodes, and they become part of other stars, planets and ultimately, humans.
Scientists are of the view that when a star with mass several times the mass of the Sun runs out of the hydrogen that it combusts to produce energy, the core of the star goes through a sequence of collapses, synthesising heavier elements with each collapse.

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Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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