The birth story of the solar system has been a mystery for the scientists since times immemorial. The scientists at the University of Chicago have put forward a new theory for how the solar system could have formed in the wind-blown bubbles around a giant, long-dead star.
The study also tackles the persistent cosmic mystery about the abundance of two elements in the solar system as compared to the rest of the galaxy. According to the general theory, the solar system originated billions of years ago near a supernova. As the new theory suggests, there is giant type of star that exists, known as Wolf-Rayet star. It is 40 to 50 times the size of the sun. It produces tons of elements which flung off the surface in an intense stellar wind. A bubble structure with a dense shell is created when the stellar wind blows through the material that was around the Wolf-Rayet star. This happens when the Wolf-Rayet star sheds its mass. As per the scientists, 1 to 16 percent of all sun-like stars could be formed in such stellar nurseries. This setup is different from that of the supernova hypothesis so as to make sense of two isotopes namely, aluminium-26 and iron- 60. These exist in strange proportions in the early solar system, in comparison to the rest of the galaxy. The concept is that aluminum-26 that flung from the Wolf-Rayet star is carried outwards on grains of dust gathered around the star. These grains punch through one side of the shell, and mostly get destroyed. This causes the trapping of the aluminium inside the shell. Consequently, a part of the shell collapses inward due to gravity, as a result forming the solar system.
By: Anuja Arora