Tag Archives: Wolf-Rayet stars

Was the solar system formed inside a giant bubble?

Don’t bet the house on this! Astronomers have come up with a new theory for the formation of the solar system, that it was formed inside a giant bubble inside a Wolf-Rayet star, in order to explain the known ratios of certain isotopes here.

The new theory for how the solar system formed starts with an extremely massive star known as a Wolf-Rayet star. Of all the stars in the universe, these stars burn the hottest. Because they are so hot, they also have exceptionally strong stellar winds.

As a Wolf-Rayet star sheds its outer layers – a normal end-of-life process for a giant star – its strong stellar winds plow through its loosely held cloak of material, forming densely shelled bubbles. According to the study, the solar system could have formed inside of one of these bubbles.

While this theory would explain a number of mysteries about the ratios of aluminum-26 and iron-60 in our solar system, which correspond closer to those in a Wolf-Rayet star than the galaxy itself, it is quite far-fetched. More hard data is necessary, including real evidence of such things actually happening in such stars, before it can be taken very seriously.