Saturday, January 13, 2007

Blowing Bubbles


Astronomer Rosa Williams gives us another photo from the Small Magellanic Cloud, an area known as LHa115-N19. Supernovae have created huge expanding bubbles. Three supernova remnants are in a process of merging, possibly to create one superbubble. The photo combines optical, infrared and radio data.

These voids in Space are not empty. At their centres are neutron stars, which can be visible as pulsars. Only through the loght of a pulsar does the central Black Hole reveal itself. As we have seen, larger voids between galaxies may not be empty either. Black Holes there would be massive enough to swallow any light.

The elements necessary for life are created in supernovae. The lightest elements, hydrogen and helium, were created in the first three minutes following the Big Bang. Heavier elements like carbon were made in the furnaces of the first stars. Supernova explosions create elements up to iron. Present theory can not account for elements heavier than iron. If the exploding stars are triggered by Black Holes, that would provide the necessary energy to create higher elements.

The elements for life are spread by these expanding bubbles throughout the galaxy, eventually reaching Earth's surface. Heavy radioactive elements like Uranium and Pottasium are only common in Earth's crust. Earth's core, the first part to form, contains mostly iron and nickel with no radioactive elements. Meteorites dating from the time of Earth's formation contain no radioactive elements. The idea of radiation keeping the core hot does not hold water. Something else has kept Earth's core warm and active.

Humans are just beginning to realise, most of the Universe is made of things they can't see. There is more to the Universe than meets the eye.

2 Comments:

Blogger William said...

This portion of your post deeply interests me: “The idea of radiation keeping the core hot does not hold water. Something else has kept Earth's core warm and active.” Decades ago I was taught this, and this post is the first time I’ve come across something to the contrary. Please, elaborate on this when you can.

4:21 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Hello and welcome William! Nice blog you have, too. Your November 16 post makes a good point, we can't just "cut and paste" our lives.

I was also taught that "radioactive decay" keeps the core hot. After thinking for myself, the idea holds no water. Something else is there, which explains core heat, the magnetic field and formation of planets from a gas cloud.

Publishing papers on this is not easy. For now I hope you enjoy my trip to Gunung Batur volcano starting with the June 15 post, a visit to Kilauea starting with the August 17 post, and another Kilauea trip starting with the December 2 post. There are many pictures too. Thanks for your interest.

9:57 AM  

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