- Stars fuse the hydrogen and helium present in the early universe into heavier elements, like iron. When stars reach the end of their lives, they explode in supernovae, littering these elements throughout space where they can eventually form planets.
- A particular kind of supernova called a type Ia, the result of the explosion of a dense stellar corpse called a white dwarf star, seems to be responsible for most of the iron on Earth.
- This debris could also shed light on our origins. Soker and Tsebrenko estimate that these clouds of iron would be several times the mass of Jupiter. They would spread and could eventually seed dust clouds with iron that would go on to form stars and planets, providing an origin for Earth's core, says Soker.
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