A supernova is one of the most mysterious and bright explosions of stars in space. In fact, they are the largest explosions ever seen by man. They occur so far away that powerful telescopes are needed to spot them. Supernovae usually occur in the final evolutionary stages of massive stars. Various studies are underway to understand these events. But researchers hope alien stones found in the Egyptian desert can help shed light on these spectacular events. The stone was named Hypatia.
Researchers including from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa believe the stone is the first tangible evidence of a Type IA supernova ever found on Earth. Since 2013, some of them have found highly unusual chemical clues in a small fragment of Hypatia. Experts hypothesize that Hypatia originated from a single star—a red giant that collapsed into a white dwarf and eventually “devoured” another star. At some point, the white dwarf exploded internally as a Type Ia supernova.
“If this hypothesis is correct, the Hypatia stone would be the first tangible evidence of a Type Ia supernova explosion on Earth,” revealed Jan Kramers, a researcher on the project.
The researchers have published their findings in the journal Icarus.
In 2013, a study of argon isotopes suggested that the rock did not form on Earth. A 2015 study suggested that it may not have come from any known type of meteorite or comet. Three years later, the team published various analyses, including the discovery of a mineral, nickel phosphide, which had not been found before in any object in our solar system.
After extensive research, the team concluded that the rock could only exist in Type IA supernovae, which occur once or twice in every galaxy every century.