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Evidence for Recent Interstellar ⁶⁰Fe on Earth

Koll, D.; Faestermann, T.; Feige, J.; Fifield, L. K.; Froehlich, M. B.; Hotchkis, M. A. C.; Korschinek, G.; Merchel, S.; Panjkov, S.; Pavetich, S.; Tims, S. G.; Wallner, A.


Over the last 20 years the long-lived radionuclide ⁶⁰Fe with a half-life of 2.6 Myr was shown to be an expedient astrophysical tracer to detect freshly synthesized stardust on Earth. The unprecedented sensitivity of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry for ⁶⁰Fe at The Australian National University (ANU) and Technical University of Munich (TUM) allowed us to detect minute amounts of ⁶⁰Fe in deep-sea crusts, nodules, sediments and on the Moon [1-5]. These signals, around 2-3 Myr and 6.5-9 Myr before present, were interpreted as a signature from nearby Supernovae which synthesized and ejected ⁶⁰Fe into the local interstellar medium.
Triggered by these findings, ANU and TUM independently analyzed recent surface material for ⁶⁰Fe, deep-sea sediments and for the first time Antarctic snow, respectively [6, 7].
We find in both terrestrial archives corresponding amounts of recent ⁶⁰Fe.
We will present these discoveries, evaluate the origin of this recent influx and bring it into line with previously reported ancient ⁶⁰Fe findings.
[1] K. Knie et. al. “Indication for supernova produced ⁶⁰Fe activity on Earth”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 83 (1999) 18.
[2] K. Knie et. al. “⁶⁰Fe anomaly in a deep-sea manganese crust and implications for a nearby supernova source”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 93 (2004) 171103.
[3] P. Ludwig et. al. “Time-resolved 2-million-year-old super-nova activity discovered in Earth's microfossil record”, PNAS 113 (2016) 9232.
[4] A. Wallner et. al. “Recent near-Earth supernovae probed by global deposition of interstellar radioactive ⁶⁰Fe”, Nature 532 (2016) 69.
[5] L. Fimiani et. al. “Interstellar ⁶⁰Fe on the surface of the Moon”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116 (2016) 151104.
[6] D. Koll et. al. “Interstellar ⁶⁰Fe in Antarctica”, Phys. Rev. Lett., submitted
[7] A. Wallner et al. in preparation

Keywords: AMS; supernova; Antarctica; radionuclide; ⁶⁰Fe

  • Lecture (Conference)
    Heavy Ion Accelerator Symposium on Fundamental and Applied Science (HIAS), 09.-13.09.2019, Canberra, Australia


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