A Star Explosion of Gold and Platinum

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When the universe’s most massive objects are crashing into each other…

They leave a rain of gold and platinum behind them.

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The universe’s most massive objects are crashing into each other, and they’re leaving a rain of gold and platinum behind them. Picture © NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

While the shadow of a nearby economic collapse starts sweeping across our world, some powerful explosions in the Universe produce millions of tons of gold and platinum in a fraction of second.

Yes, when neutron stars collide, they may result in gargantuan kilonova explosions like the one illustrated above. These blasts send ripples through space-time, and shower their galactic neighborhood in gold and platinum.

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Major Kilonova in a nearby galaxy captured in 2016. Image courtesy University of Maryland

Mergers of this magnitude are so violent they rattle the fabric of space-time, releasing gravitational waves that spread through the cosmos like ripples on a pond.

These mergers also fuel cataclysmic explosions that create heavy metals in an instant, showering their galactic neighborhood in hundreds of planets’ worth of gold and platinum.

Some scientists suspect that all the gold and platinum on Earth formed in explosions like these, thanks to ancient neutron-star mergers close to our galaxy.

Read More: https://www.livescience.com/kilonovas-rain-gold-on-the-universe.html

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