Scientists solve riddle of celestial archaeology

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A decades old space mystery has been solved by an international team of astronomers led by Professor Martin Barstow of the University of Leicester and President-elect of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Scientists from the University of Leicester and University of Arizona investigated hot, young, white dwarfs—the super-dense remains of Sun-like stars that ran out of fuel and collapsed to about the size of the Earth. Their research is featured in MNRAS- the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, published by Oxford University Press.
It has been known that many hot white dwarfs atmospheres, essentially of pure hydrogen or pure helium, are contaminated by other elements – like carbon, silicon and iron. What was not known, however, was the origins of these elements, known in astronomical terms as metals.

Read more here http://phys.org/news/2014-03-scientists-riddle-celestial-archaeology.html

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“Scientists solve riddle of celestial archaeology”