On Apr 3, 5:47 pm, John Larkin
That isn't science. That's just ill-informed ooh-aahing. If The
Register's science reporter had a clue, we wouldn't have been treated
to this sentence.
"The astronomers also verified that the star-wreckage had clumps of
almost pure iron, which must have been made by nuclear reactions at
the centre of the star before the supernova."
Anybody who knew what they were talking about would realise that "must
have been made" doesn't exactly do justice to our understanding of the
process by which a sufficiently massive star becomes a super-nova, by
progressively turning most of it mass into increasingly heavier
nuclei, until you end up with an iron core.
Since the iron nucleus has the highest mass defect of any nucleus, the
progression stops there with the supernova explosion. If the star's
core hadn't turned to iron, there wouldn't have been a supernova.
Bill Sloman, Nijmegen