Supernovae and heavy elements

  • Thread starter sumi-e
  • Start date
  • #1
1
0
Hi, I'm new here. Can someone help me with several sets of questions?

I know the estimated age of the Milky Way. There is information that there are various types of supernovae in the Milky Way that occur on the average of 2.2 to 2.7 per century.

My first set of question: Is this average of supernovae per century constant going back 10 billion years or so? If the average of supernovae in the Milky Way per century changes as you go back in time, what is the change? And why a change? Is there an estimation of the total number of supernovae that has occurred since the formation of the Milky Way? What is that number? How is the number calculated?

Second set of questions, if I may: On the average (or more detailed if the information is there), what amount of heavy elements are produced by a supernova? What is the total estimated amount of heavy elements in the Milky Way? Are the number of supernovae sufficient to account for all the heavy elements in the Milky Way (excluding for the moment any prior collision with another galaxy and the elements that may have come from it)?

Much thanks,

--Greg
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
SteamKing
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
12,796
1,668
Question 1. Who knows? Human astronomical records at best go back about 3000 years, and the earliest records are somewhat incomplete. It does stand to reason that when the universe was young, there were probably more stars prone to form supernovae than exist currently.

Question 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova_nucleosynthesis
 
  • #3
Chronos
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,408
741
Supernova were more common in the past when massive stars were more common. The metallicity of current generation stars, like the sun, is about 2%.
 

Related Threads on Supernovae and heavy elements

Replies
2
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
10K
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
15K
Replies
19
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
3K
Replies
34
Views
5K
Top