Milky Way's center unveils supernova 'dust factory'

March 19, 2015 6:18 PM

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Milky Way's center unveils supernova 'dust factory'

Sifting through the center of the Milky Way galaxy, astronomers have made the first direct observations – using an infrared telescope aboard a modified Boeing 747 – of cosmic building-block dust resulting from an ancient supernova.

“Dust itself is very important because it’s the stuff that forms stars and planets, like the sun and Earth, respectively, so to know where it comes from is an important question,” said lead author Ryan Lau, Cornell postdoctoral associate for astronomy, in research published March 19 in Science Expre...

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