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Any solar physicists that could answer a question about iron?

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posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 11:17 AM
In the physics of the sun and all other stars it is said that once the core starts producing iron in it's fusion process it will catastrophically fail resulting in a supernova event in a very short order. What would happen if an asteroid consisting of mainly iron weighing millions of tonnes were to crash in to a star? Would that iron survive and poison the star and cause it to fail?

posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 11:21 AM
reply to post by Kulkulkan

Very good question, will sit back to see responses.

posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 11:34 AM
The core of a star must reach a certain size in the fusion production of iron, around 1.5 of our sun's, for it to go supernova. I don't think an incidental asteroid could affect that since it's the core's inability to support it's own mass that makes it go supernova.

posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 11:48 AM
Millions of tons would be insignificant, like pouring a bucket of water in the ocean.

Interesting question though...

posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 02:08 PM
Fusing elements heavier than iron requires energy input rather than releasing energy and so the fusion process slows as iron accumulates and the core, due to its weight, density and low energy output can no longer exert a balancing pressure against gravity's pull, so it collapses.

posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 03:32 PM
An interesting question related to this. when a star dies completely, doesn't it create a black hole?
I cant remember if this was just a thought, or if it was something I had read. But when a star dies its mass collapses into itself and distorts space with the immense mass concentrated in a small area that it creates a temporal distortion and causes a black hole?

Assuming that what I had asked is correct, couldn't that imply that a star, as it collapses, creates elements even heavier than the ones we've synthesized to date? The heaviest element I can remember from chemistry class is ununpentium(115), and as I read an updated periodic table I see they've managed to create at least 117, and they also mention a possible "Island of stability" for elements with atomic numbers greater than 111. If a sun is a fusion reactor, constantly taking elements and making them into heavier new elements, couldn't that mean that near the end of its life, it could create elements this heavy?

I understand that stars, even in infancy, are extremely heavy. But, again assuming that the above question is correct, how could a star collapse to create something as powerful as a black hole using only iron? Or is it simply that 'over the hill moment' when a star begins to produce iron that it is a sign of its life cycle nearing a relative end?

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 06:34 PM
ok first of all
the only stars what produce iron in their cores are giants (20-1000 solar masses)
these die and create supernova with their last breath
so yeah is like throwing a grain of sand on a beach trying to make a difference
if a planet made of pure iron (between size of saturn/jupiter) slammed into sun maybe then i would worry
even if it didnt blow up sun it would make a pretty nasty firework show for inhabitants of the inner planets (US)

just to scare few people ill throw this one out there

"rouge white dwarf comes dangerously close to the sun and ignites a type 1a supernova"

a rouge star can come into existence when its binary partner (its twin) comes too close to the galactic center
and is devoured by the milkyway's super-massive black hole at its center and the white dwarf is "slingshotted" across the vastness of space at a sizeable fraction of the speed of light
(about 1/4 - 1/2) 74,948,114 to 149,896,229 meters per second!!!

google keywords

type 1a supernova
rouge star/planet
super-massive black hole (Sagittarius A*)

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 04:56 AM
The star goes supernova only when it has run out of other fusionable elements. Since it takes more energy to fuse iron than is liberated in the process, the fusion process stops completely at this point, and gravity takes over. The star "implodes" because of the crushing gravitational force, and then "rebounds" in a supernova explosion.

posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 05:20 AM
And something to get your head around ...

Reach out to the nearest object next to you that's made of iron or steel and guess what ?
You're touching "star stuff" !

Even better ... the red blood cells in your/my body contains iron.
A part of a supernova is in your body !

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