Exploding Stars Make Key Ingredient


By: Katie Hutnan

As it turns out, exploding stars have a key ingredient for glass. Silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2) is a very common mineral found in Earth’s rocks. One of those rocks, quartz, also has silica in it. Quartz is in sand, sand is in glass.

A new study using observations by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope reports that silica, one of the common minerals found on Earth, was formed when a large star exploded near Earth.

Silica is used in many, many things. Concrete for sidewalks, roads and buildings are just some of the things silica is used for.


Supernova remnant G54.1+0.3 includes radio, infrared and X-ray light

This is related to engineering because glass is a key element in many buildings and everyday things.