Listen: Secrets of the Universe Trapped in Antarctic Snow
"This is scientific. Americans sixty seconds science. I'm christopher dodd yada. In the summer of two thousand fifteen strange delivery erupted opted munich germany twenty five boxes of still frozen snow sent all the way from antarctica the reason for shipping eleven hundred pounds of snow from the bottom. Some of the world scientists were hunting for interstellar dust which might hold clues about our place in the universe so i think scientists did was melt the snow and then filter sir it for fine particles analyzing the remaining dust with mass spectrometry they found traces of the isotope iron sixty which is primarily produced in two ways by exploding loading supernova or by cosmic rays zapping interplanetary dust but it's also produced in nuclear reactions here on earth by bombs or nuclear reactors so to determine how much of the stuff was truly interstellar from beyond our solar system. The researchers used other isotopic clues to screen out quantities of iron sixty produced by nuclear nuclear reactions in cosmic rays and they still had some iron sixty leftover to account for this stuff produced by supernova just looking at something which is on our own planet none something which is so far away in happening so many years ago. I mean that's pretty amazing. That's why i relapse lots for dominic coal experimental nuclear physicists at the australian national university his team reported the results in the journal physical review letters cole cole says this iron sixty might be showering down on us from the local interstellar cloud the patch of space the solar systems moving through right now and if the cloud contains material <unk> produced by supernova cole says it could be the ancient remnants of exploding stars included the structure and formation of the universe. Luckily we can investigate negate it all by hunting for dust right here on spaceship or thanks for listening for scientific american sixty seconds science. I'm christopher indonesia."