New Delhi: The calcium in our bones has a cosmic link, according to a new study.
Astronomers have come across a new type of supernova, which they believe may be the chief source of calcium in the universe, including the Earth.
According to scientists, the energy source of the supernova labelled SN2005E is helium "stolen" from a companion star.
Mounting pressure and temperature levels eventually caused the helium to ignite in an H-bomb-like thermonuclear blast.
High levels of calcium and radioactive titanium were found during observations of the exploding star. Both are products of nuclear reactions involving helium.
The calcium content was so high that it accounted for half the material thrown out by the explosion.
Even if two such supernovae occur every 100 years they would produce the high abundance of calcium seen in our galaxy, the Milky Way, and in all life on Earth, the scientists point out.
"It’s a confusing, muddy situation. But we hope that, by finding more examples of this and other unusual supernovae and observing them in greater detail, we will get a better understanding of the physics that’s actually going on," the Scotsman quoted Prof Alex Filippenko, of the University of California at Berkeley, as saying.
The findings of the study have been published in the journal Nature.