Scientists Meet Scientists – Wednesday Coffee Talk by Dr. Gunther Korschinek on “Stardust in the Antarctic Snow – Iron-60 Discovery in the Antarctic Provides Information on the Environment of the Solar System"


Professor Ernst Rank and the TUM-IAS team invite the scientists of TUM and their guests for coffee each Wednesday. Just come over to the TUM-IAS after lunch between 1:00–2:00 pm and have a coffee with us, meet other scientists and listen to a short talk (10-15 mins) on a recent major TUM publication or issue – aimed specifically at a non-expert audience.

On December 11, Dr. Gunther Korschinek (TUM Department of Physics) is talking about the ”Stardust in the Antarctic Snow – Iron-60 Discovery in the Antarctic Provides Information on the Environment of the Solar System”. The quantity of cosmic dust that trickles down to Earth each year ranges between several thousand and ten thousand tons. Most of the tiny particles come from asteroids or comets within our solar system. However, a small percentage comes from distant stars. There are no natural terrestrial sources for the iron-60 isotope contained therein; it originates exclusively as a result of supernova explosions or through the reactions of cosmic radiation with cosmic dust. Now, a research team with significant involvement from the TUM has discovered iron-60 in Antarctic snow for the first time.

Relevant Publication

D. Koll, G. Korschinek, T. Faestermann, J. M. Gómez-Guzmán, S. Kipfstuhl, S. Merchel, J. M. Welch: Interstellar 60Fe in Antarctica. In: Physical Review Letters 123, 072701. August 2019. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.072701.

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