Type II Supernova Matter in a Silicon Carbide Grain from the Murchison Meteorite

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Science  31 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5266, pp. 1314-1316
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5266.1314


The circumstellar silicon carbide (SiC) grain X57 from the Murchison meteorite contains large amounts of radiogenic calcium-44 (20 times its solar system abundance) and has an anomalous silicon isotopic composition, different from other circumstellar SiC grains. Its inferred initial 44Ti/Si and 44Ti/48Ti ratios are 1.6 × 10−4 and 0.37. In addition, it contains radiogenic magnesium-26; the inferred initial 26Al/27Al ratio is 0.11. The isotopic and elemental data of X57 can be explained by selective mixing of matter from different zones of a typical type II supernova of 25 solar masses during its explosion. The high 44Ti/Si ratio requires contributions from the innermost nickel zone of the supernova to the SiC condensation site, as similarly suggested by astronomical observations.