|Chandra X-ray Observatory image of Cassiopeia A,|
a 300-year-old supernova remnant.
Take, for example, this article by Maria Cruz which appeared in Science last week. It concerned a paper published in the Journal of Astrophysics by Haenecour et al. (Astrophys. J. 768, L17 (2013)) which reported on the discovery of grains of material that pre-date the formation of the solar system. These grains were part of the molecular cloud out of which the solar system formed and which subsequently became incorporated into solid accretions.
These presolar grains can be identified by their unusual isotopic composition which can only have been formed outside the solar system. The team used sophisticated techniques called 'nano secondary ion mass spectrometry' (NanoSIMS) and 'Auger electron spectroscopy', to identify silica (SiO2)grains in two meteorites. The isotopic composition of the oxygen atoms in the silica suggests that they were formed in the core collapse of an earlier supernova - an exploding star in which heavier elements are formed out of helium by nuclear fusion under intense pressure and heat.
This reaction creates such a violent release of energy that it overcomes gravity and causes the star to explode, creating the nebulae in which new stars form. Unlike the first generation stars which formed out of collapsing molecular clouds of almost pure hydrogen, second and subsequent generation stars form from collapsing clouds which include these heavier elements, the so-called stardust. As the cloud collapses under gravity, the heat and gravity causes the fusion of hydrogen nuclei to form helium to start up. The release of energy causes the heavier elements to be thrown out to form an accretion disk out of which planets form around stable orbital centres. This is how we know that our sun is at least a second-generation star.
The problem for Creationist loons and the professional liars who promote Creationism as an alternative science, is that their preferred fairytale version of the creation of the Universe says that everything was created together in a single day, so there would never have been a presolar time or first and second generation stars. The existence of presolar grains will either have to be ignored altogether, or some other traditional coping strategy will need to be called into play, such as attacking the scientists or dismissing science as 'scientism', in order to handle the painful cognitive dissonance without incorporating this new information into their fairytale.
Reference: Supernova Grains Identified in the Lab, Maria Cruz,
Science 3 May 2013: 340 (6132), 526. [DOI:10.1126/science.340.6132.526-a]