Supernova remnants in a million-year old sample

Tuesday 12 October 2021

How do you find the remnants of violent cosmic events? Look at the bottom of the ocean of course!

PhD student in nuclear physics, Dominik Koll, is searching for tiny traces of plutonium-244 and iron-60. Each of these originate in different cosmic events, that may have happened close enough to earth in the last few million years for the fallout to have reached us.

Cosmic fallout that settles on the ocean sinks to its floor, and ends up in sediment. In this video Dom talks about the research and shows off the sample as he carves it up and analyses the results.

More info is in this news story.

» read more

Related news stories

The first-ever discovery of rare plutonium-244 on earth has scientists rethinking the origins of the elements on our planet. The tiny traces of radioactive plutonium-244 were found in ocean crust alongside radioactive iron-60. The two isotopes are evidence of violent cosmic events in the vicinity of earth...
The first-ever discovery of rare plutonium-244 on earth has scientists rethinking the origins of the elements on our planet. The tiny traces...
A mystery surrounding the space around our solar system is unfolding thanks to evidence of  supernovae found in deep-sea sediments. Professor Anton Wallner, a nuclear physicist at ANU Research School of Physics, led the study which shows the Earth has been travelling for the last 33,000 years through...
A mystery surrounding the space around our solar system is unfolding thanks to evidence of  supernovae found in deep-sea sediments. Professor...
With the world record sale of a purple diamond for $29.3M, it seemed the right time to chat to our diamond expert, Professor Neil Manson, about what a diamond actually is, and how one determines if they are “pure” and “flawless”. Not surprisingly, the media hype doesn’t...
With the world record sale of a purple diamond for $29.3M, it seemed the right time to chat to our diamond expert, Professor Neil Manson, about...
The Australian National University (ANU) has launched an online virtual tour of its Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility, which is searching for traces of exploded stars, known as supernovae, in the ocean. ANU physicist Dr Ed Simpson said the tour included 360-degree photos that allow visitors to explore...
The Australian National University (ANU) has launched an online virtual tour of its Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility, which is searching for traces...

Updated:  19 October 2021/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster