Wednesday 18 May 2022 12:16 PM Alien space rock found in Egypt 'may be first evidence on Earth of a rare ... trends now
An extraterrestrial rock that was found in Egypt more than 25 years ago may be the first evidence on Earth of a rare supernova explosion, scientists have claimed.
Researchers analysed the Hypathia stone and found that its chemical makeup and patterning suggest it contains bits of the dust and gas cloud which surround a 'standard candle' (or type Ia) supernova.
These stellar explosions, which are some of the most energetic in the Universe, happen when a dense white dwarf star gobbles up another nearby star.
The mix of dust and gas from such a supernova would gradually have turned into a solid over billions of years, the experts said, before forming the parent body that Hypatia came from.
Explosive discovery: The extraterrestrial Hypathia stone, which was found in Egypt more than 25 years ago, may be the first evidence on Earth of a rare supernova explosion, scientists claim
Researchers analysed the Hypathia stone (pictured) and found that its chemical makeup and patterning suggest it contains bits of the dust and gas cloud surrounding a type Ia supernova
'In a sense, we could say, we have caught a supernova Ia explosion in the act, because the gas atoms from the explosion were caught in the surrounding dust cloud, which eventually formed Hypatia's parent body,' said geochemist Jan Kramers, from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa.
The researchers analysed a tiny sample of Hypatia to find clues about where the stone had been and how it formed.
They found that it had an unusually low level of silicon, chromium, and manganese, which meant the rock was unlikely to have formed in the inner Solar System.
It also had high levels of copper, sulphur, iron, phosphorus and vanadium.
Scientists said this make-up was very different to any objects found in our corner of the Milky Way galaxy.
Their analysis also ruled out