ISLAMABAD         -        “Most massive stars create small amounts of calcium during their lifetimes, but events like SN 2019ehk appear to be responsible for producing vast quantities of calcium and in the process of exploding disperse it through interstellar space within galaxies. Ultimately this calcium makes its way into forming planetary systems,” according to Régis Cartier, an astronomer at NOIRLab and a member of the research team, “…and into our bodies in the case of our Earth!” 

Raffaella Margutti, senior author of the study at Northwestern University, adds that prior to this event astronomers had only indirect information on these events, called calcium-rich supernovae. “With this direct evidence, we can now confidently rule out the production of calcium-rich supernovae by the vast majority of massive stars,” said Margutti.