How many times has the matter that makes up our solar system gone through the stellar process?

Oct 25, 2019
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Matter up to iron is formed in the center of a star, the elements above iron are only generated when a star ends it's life and explodes into a nebula. Each nebula expands to collide with other nebula to start a new star and on it goes. Now, how many times has this happened, by using the amount of elements above iron in our solar system, can we take an educated guess? Are we third generation matter? Maybe 4th or 5th generation? I would like to know so everyone can know how many times we have been recycled.
 

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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Canukanaut, this is a very good question you ask. Using the Big Bang model, the universe is said to be about 13.8E+9 years old. The Sun I think is considered a 2nd or 3rd generation star in that model. I like to consider questions like yours using stellar evolution and iron production, then recycling into the universe to make new stars, new plants, and new people :). Take a star like Antares in Scorpius. We have perhaps a 12 solar mass red supergiant and 87% or so solar metallicity (I use this as an example only). How many earth masses of iron exist in the star? The red supergiant model indicates we have more than 48,717 earth masses of iron in the star - a very large amount. The problem is getting 48,717 earth masses of iron to recycle and form new stars, new planets, and perhaps new life-somewhere. So my answer is all the recycling claims found in popular science reports about the Big Bang model and stellar evolution, may have some difficulties too.
 
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Oct 23, 2019
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I do not think it is possible to know the answer to that question. Stars that go supernova generally have relatively short lives on the order of a few million years. But the time it takes for the dust and gas expelled by a supernova to become incorporated in to another star can vary wildly. But supernova can take you only so far up the periodic table. To get the heavier elements it appears you need something with a bigger punch, like a neutron star merger.
 

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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Okay, if we appeal to neutron star mergers to solve various problems in the s-process or r-process origin of elements in the universe using vast ages of stellar recycling, how many neutron star mergers took place to create the uranium found on Earth today? How long did it take the uranium floating in empty space after "x number of neutron star mergers", before the uranium was incorporated into the Earth? The problem is similar to my example of the 12 solar mass red supergiant star and getting more than 48,000 earth masses of iron-recycled into new planets. We also have more than 4,000 exoplanets documented now. Do these also have uranium and how many neutron star mergers are required and how long did it take for uranium to migrate to the exoplanets? So I stand by my statement already made. So my answer is all the recycling claims found in popular science reports about the Big Bang model and stellar evolution, may have some difficulties too. It seems we have a very messy and inefficient creation process in the s-process, r-process, and neutron star mergers recycling reports.
 

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