Supernova that created our solar system

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I understand that our solar system was created from the ejected matter from a super nova. Is it possible to find the location of the black hole or neutron star that formed as a result of this super nova?
 

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  • #2
mathman
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I understand that our solar system was created from the ejected matter from a super nova. Is it possible to find the location of the black hole or neutron star that formed as a result of this super nova?

I believe you misunderstand the point. Heavy elements (heavier than iron) are created in supernova explosions. These elements (in our solar system) didn't necessarily come from a particular supernova explosion. Also our solar system is over 4.5 billion years old, so it would be hard to find a remnant of a supernova that old.
 
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Chronos
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As mathman noted, it is highly probable multiple supernova contributed to the mix. Given the solar system takes only a couple hundred or so million years to orbit the galaxy, finding the presumed neutron star remnants of these ancestral stars would be virtually impossible.
 
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Thank you for your answers. Am I correct to presume the neutron star(s) remnants still exists or have come to some other catastrophic end?
 
  • #5
marcus
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I understand that our solar system was created from the ejected matter from a super nova. Is it possible to find the location of the black hole or neutron star that formed as a result of this super nova?

There may have been several that contributed to the formation of stars (and their planetary systems) in our neighborhood. I haven't heard of any of the remnants being located though.

It's an interesting thought. Perhaps someday some remnant WILL be found of what will seem plausible to consider one of the contributors.
As has been pointed out, our solar system is about TWENTY orbits old. It has gone around the center of galaxy about 20 times since it formed. Nearby objects will tend to orbit at the same rate and stay approximately in step. But some that are not quite on the same path as us will gradually get out of step, and leave our immediate neighborhood.

It's a strange thought that after 20 orbits we might still find a neutron star remnant of a supernova progenitor of ours. It would be a speculative finding. I can't rule out it's happening.
 
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I don't recall any mention of the supernova(s) contributing to the solar system, but didn't Scientific American (or was it Sky & Tel?) have an article holding out hope other stars birthed in the same area as our system might be identified someday?

As for the multiple supernovas, I would be especially interested in the 'last' one that apparently dumped all the aluminum 27 that warmed up so many asteroids.
 
  • #7
Chronos
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Finding a promising candidate remnant [neutron star] would be difficult. Core remnants frequently acquire a 'kick' from detonation sending them speeding off in a different direction and at much greater velocity than the progenitor star. This can substantially alter its orbital path, or even cause it to leave the galaxy. The nearest known neutron star is more than 200 light years from earth.

It is widely held that one supernova made the most sizeable contribution of heavy elements to the solar system; the one whose shock wave triggered the collapse that resulted in the solar system - e.g., http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.4993.
 
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Thanks all for your helpful answers and comments. I have to admit I have never heard of Rayleigh-Taylor fingers mentioned in the article found by Chronos but I have heard of Rollie Fingers the baseball pitcher. This may explain my "naive" question originally posted.
 
  • #10
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Stars in our neighborhood have a common velocity of ~200km/s as orbit around the center of the milky way, but additional 20km/s+ as random motion. In other words: After 10 orbits, any spacial correlation is gone. As the gravitational interaction between stars is small, it might be possible to calculate all the orbits and evaluate where the stars were some billion years ago. Even then, the remnants are distributed all over the galaxy, in addition some of them might have left it long ago.
 

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