After a recently concluded analysis, scientists now claim an extra-terrestrial stone found 25 years ago in an Egyptian desert is the first evidence on earth of a rare supernova explosion outside of our solar system. Researchers from the University of Johannesburg’s science faculty have concluded that the space rock, which they named “Hypatia,” is a remnant of a type la supernova.
The Hypatia stone was named after the female neoplatonist philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer who lived in Egypt around 450 AD. Unfortunately, like many scientists of the era, Hypatia was killed by a fanatical Christian sect.
A Supernova is the extremely powerful explosion of a star with a blast that is super bright. The type la supernova occurs when a highly dense remnant of a star called a white dwarf has used up all its hydrogen and is unable to burn nuclear fuel at its core. The white dwarf then collides or its gravity takes material from a nearby star and explodes.
Scientists have used various study methods to understand how the Hypatia stone may have been formed. In 2013 they carried out a study of the argon isotopes, which established that the stone was Alien and not of earth. Further analysis of the stones’ noble gases in 2015 ruled out meteorites and comets as the stones’ origin.
The more the researchers attempted to analyze the stone, the more they were perplexed. Finally, the scientists found themselves at an impasse as a 2018 analysis led to the discovery of nickel phosphide, a new discovery not found in any object in the solar system. Scientists believe that the Hypatia’s parent rock shattered during its entry into the earth’s atmosphere as the heat coupled with its impact on the great sand sea created diamonds.
Professor Jan Kramers, who is part of the team that has been studying the Hypatia rock since 2013, said,
“If this hypothesis is correct, the Hypatia stone would be the first tangible evidence on earth of a supernova type Ia explosion. Perhaps equally important, it shows that an individual anomalous ‘parcel’ of dust from outer space could actually be incorporated in the solar nebula that our solar system was formed from, without being fully mixed in. This goes against the conventional view that dust which our solar system was formed from, was thoroughly mixed.”
While the new analysis of the Hypatia stone provides a new clue in the great quest to understand the origins of our solar system, it boggles the mind that a small stone could be the missing piece that untangles the mysteries of the universe or at least our interpretation of it.