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What was HERE before our Solar System formed?

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posted on Nov, 12 2007 @ 05:34 PM
I've heard that all elements heavier than iron were formed when a star goes supernova. These elements include Nickel, Copper, Zinc, Silver, Platinum, Gold, Mercury, and many others. We have all of these elements here on Earth and throughout the Solar System.

Since these elements are only formed in a supernova, where was the supernova that formed those elements for our solar system? Was the star that went supernova in the same neighborhod as our solar stsyem is now? Did its supernova create a nebula that spawned our present solar system?

I sometimes wonder about the possibility of another ancient and long dead 10 billion year-old solar system being the "foundation" upon which our system formed -- sort of like building a new building over an old foundation.

I also wonder, if it existed, what that original solar system was like. Did it have planets? Did it have life? Did it have intelligent life? Could the organic molecules that may have sprung up in that ancient system be part of the icy bodies that exist in the Oort cloud, and come from the oort cloud as comets -- the same comets that may have spread organic molecules (not life, but the building blocks of life) to Earth?

It is true that all heavy elements came from the supernova of another ancient star system that went supernova. Is it also possible that the building blocks of life also came from that system?

posted on Nov, 12 2007 @ 05:37 PM

Maybe this is better in the science forum. Could you please move it?

[edit on 11/12/2007 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Nov, 12 2007 @ 05:46 PM
If we somehow manage to create a wormhole in the future and travel to a planetary system that's older than our own in another galaxy, is it possible to see what was here prior to the creation of our own solar system?

posted on Nov, 12 2007 @ 06:12 PM
reply to post by Soylent Green Is People

Actually, moving this thread would serve no purpose.

The fact remains that science and exploration by what means we now have of the universe, cannot really determine the concept of space itself, either it's size or shape. Therefore, determining what proceeded any object in space is hard to do.

How would you propose that we go about reaching some idea on this?

And a good thought provoking post, by the way. A star and a flag for originality.

posted on Nov, 12 2007 @ 06:54 PM
It's absolutely correct that these elements were formed during supernova explosions. Now, where that supernova was, is a pretty great question. It's one that I doubt anyone could answer, but we can hypothesize about it until we're all blue in the face.

If anything, the gasses that eventually coalesced into our Solar System came from many different supernova explosions. A few of them spaced out over time would send gasses out in every which direction, forming a larger molecular cloud. Eventually the gasses would have collected into a field of cold, interstellar gasses over 10K AU in diameter, and begin to compress under its own meager gravity. The collapse, by most modern hypotheses, would have been caused by the pressure wave from yet another supernova explosion. Now, keep in mind, the majority of these gasses would have been H an He left over from the Big Bang, with only about 2% of the gasses been created in nucleosynthesis.

Anyway, I'm venturing down the path of explaining the nebular hypothesis of the Solar System's formation... The supernova could have been just about anywhere in our nearby, or even not-too-distant, neighborhood of stars. Since it was billions of years ago that it would have had to of occurred, the remnants of the supernova(s) and whatnot are long since gone.

The original Solar System would probably have been a pretty barren one. The first stars in our universe were Giants and Supergiants, burning all of their fuel out rapidly and expelling their innards out through novas. There wouldn't have been very much in the way of heavier elements, so planets, both of the Terrestrial and Jovian variety, would have been scarce. Because of the limited number of planets and the even limited number of heavier molecules, I would doubt that life could have existed at all.

You did pose the excellent question of, "Is it also possible that the building blocks of life also came from that system?" My answer would be absolutely, in most regards. The building blocks of life are most commonly regarded to be amino acids. These acids, of which 20 or so are fairly common, are made up primarily of H, C, N, and O. All of those chemicals are the basis for all life as we know it, and could have been forged nowhere else than in the hearts of stars. This does take me to my next point, though...

The Oort Cloud is a pretty rockin' place. It's full of comets and other smaller vagabonds of not only our Solar System, but certainly some portion of it has come from other stars. Not all comets are periodic, meaning they don't all orbit the Sun. Some simply slingshot around Sol and escape out at another angle. Surely this same process has happened around other stars and some cometary material has made its way to our Solar System. The neat thing about that? Well, it's confirmed that amino acids are found in comets. So, these building blocks of life could very well hop from system to system.

posted on Nov, 13 2007 @ 09:17 AM
Everywhere we look in our solar system we find change. It can be predictable, chaotic, physical, chemical, subtle and sometimes catastropic. So some things we know and others are still a mystery to us. We know alot by observing what happens here on earth like volcanoes, climate change, tectonics etc. Then seeing it on other planets. Scienctist believe that our solar system started as a rotating cloud of gas and dust 4.6 billion years ago. Then something happened like a shockwave from a nearby supernova caused the clound to coalesce.
Particles started clumping together to form larger objects with the biggest mass at the center. The spinning motion caused the cloud to flatten into a pancake disk. Over a millions of years the disk accumulated mass and the bigger the mass got the hotter it got until nuclear fusion began and our sun was formed. The disk continued to spin with all this dust, gases, water and eventually clumping together to form our planets.

The planets formed farther from the sun where able to collect frozen water and dust that later became our gas giants. The further you got from there and the sun the less mass was found so things stayed smaller like our Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud. We are still finding objects as we search farther out in our solar sytem like Sedna. Sedna is in space where the temperature never rises above minus 400 degrees faranheit. And takes 10,500 years just to orbit the sun. Of course this is just a theory in the origin of our solar system and could be partly wrong and right or way off course. What happens when our sun decides to swell up, exspand and finally explode? Will all the planets crash together until enough mass is accumulated to start the process again? Maybe that has already happened before. It would be so neat to see all this happen and be in awe of the power of our universe, but for now we can only speculate and hypothesize what really happen.

posted on Nov, 13 2007 @ 10:09 AM
I can recall reading something about that sol originally had allot of neighbours but that this group of starts drifed appart. I also even heared that we originlly might have come from a different galaxy.

posted on Nov, 13 2007 @ 10:19 AM
I think I'd like to address the original question 'What was HERE before our Solar System formed?'

And in order to do that I should like to first ask the question: WHERE did our solar system form?

I know that our solar system is basically everything relative to our star. But that star has been flinging round on an arm of a spiral galaxy, and that galaxy isn't exactly stationary.

Where (and when) was our solar system formed?

posted on Nov, 13 2007 @ 10:27 AM
Just impossible to answer.

posted on Nov, 13 2007 @ 10:41 AM
reply to post by Now_Then

I thought of that when I posed the original question, but I didn't want to muddy the waters by bringing it up. But since you brought it up...

...I'm sure that we and our immediate stellar neighbors have been moving around together relative to each other for a few 100 million years (i.e. we have been "relatively" in the same place for a about half billion years, I think.)

But once we start talking about 5 billion years or even 10 billion years, I'm sure our solar system, or whatever supernova event(s) that spawned the dust cloud that formed our solar system, is in a totally different spot relavtive to our neighboring stars and the Milky way itself. In fact, perhaps the Milky Way itself looked totally different 5 billion years ago when the dust cloud that formed our solar system began to coalesce.

So you (and 'cmdrkeenkid') are right...the supernova or supernovae that formed the heavy metals that exist in our solar system could have come from a part of the galaxy that is now very far away from us, relative to the galactic center.

But I still think it's interesting to think about this:
All human bodies naturally contain heavy metals -- Zinc, copper, etc.; and these metals are ONLY formed during supernovae. so, many of the molecules inside your body were formed in a supernova explosion.

Thus -- as the late Carl Sagan put it so well --
"We are made of Star-stuff"...literally.

Edit: Spelling

[edit on 11/13/2007 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Nov, 13 2007 @ 10:55 AM
And as age takes it's toll on me, I am comforted by knowing that at some far future date, when this solar system ends in a bang, or a whimper, it too will be consumed by other ,younger, formations in the cycle of star birth and dying.

I will return to the stars, from whence I came.

posted on Nov, 13 2007 @ 11:00 AM
Here's a cool animation of the formation of our solar system.

Cool I'm a star child after all

It's amazing to think about what was there before and now and what will happen later even. All we keep doing is exspanding and when will that stop if ever? I guess my answer to the question would be our galaxy. Without or galaxy being formed our solar system could of never formed the way it did.

posted on Nov, 13 2007 @ 11:05 AM

posted on Nov, 14 2007 @ 01:13 PM
reply to post by Solarskye

Thanks for the video, solarskye.

This shows the formation of our solar system from a pre-existing gas and dust cloud. But my question is (and as you alluded to in your earlier post) what led to the creation that dust cloud in the first place?

It contained elements heavier than iron (obviously, since those occur in our present solar system), and those elements had to come from an earlier star(s) that went supernova.

According to the "Stardust" mission website, dust collected from comet Wild 2 contains stardust grains from other stars. Many comets originate in the Oort Cloud beyond Pluto, and are suspected of being coposed of the oldest material in the solar system -- the very same stuff from which the solar sytem was created.

The comet particles returned by the Stardust mission have been a real bonanza. They do contain some stardust grains from other stars but the majority of solids are solar system materials that appear to have formed over a very broad range of solar distances and perhaps over an extended time range.

I wonder if there is a method that scientists can use to ascertain the age of these particles. Could some of these particles be from the long-dead star(s) that spawned the dust cloud from whence we came?

I tried to do some research on how scientists could date these dust grains, but I haven't found anything specifically indicating the methods used to date the materials. Obviously Cardon-14 dating is useless, since that only works on things which were once alive.

Are there any experts who know the specific methods for attempting to find the age of the materials found in Comet Wild 2?

Full "Stardust" Article

posted on Nov, 14 2007 @ 01:39 PM
reply to post by Soylent Green Is People

Sweet thread idea Soylent, total props for this one....

Cosmic dust could help uncover the origins of life:

By tailing a comet – serendipitously called Wild 2 – that was shooting material into space at 6.1 kilometers a second, NASA’s Stardust spacecraft managed to pick up cometary and interplanetary dust particles that contain the very iron that is found in every human being’s hemoglobin, and may provide hints to how life started on Earth.

Clues to the origins of life:

Because the meteorite immediately became frozen in ice after it landed, the possibility of contamination from terrestrial material was minimized. Further, the isotopic composition of hydrogen and nitrogen in the globules is quite unlike what is normally found on Earth. It also appears that the material in the meteorite formed at least 4.5 billion years ago – before the Earth and the other planets themselves.

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