This video segment adapted from NOVA scienceNOW follows scientists analyzing meteorites—the oldest rocks in the solar system—to determine what triggered the birth of our solar system from a vast cloud of gas and dust. Remnants of an isotope of iron in the meteorites could have come from a distant massive star that died in a violent, luminous explosion, called a supernova. Some scientists think the supernova shock wave triggered the collapse of the gas and dust cloud. Others disagree, suggesting that radiation emitted by a nearby star might have been enough to collapse the cloud, which led to the birth of the Sun, planets, and, eventually, all life on Earth.
This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.
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