Science

'You Are Wearing An Exploded Neutron Star', Claim Scientists Tracing The Origins Of Gold, Platinum

Written By Suchitra Karthikeyan | Mumbai | Published:

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  • Scientists have recently discovered that some of Earth's most precious metals may have formed due to a massive collision between two neutron stars, 4.6 billion years ago.
  • A neutron star, by definition, is a set of closely packed neutrons from the collapsed core of a giant star after a supernova explosion which is not big enough to produce a black hole.
  • They believe that their research will help shed light on Earth's origins echoing the famous French artist Paul Gauguin: Where did we come from and where are we going?

When a hero in the movies claims to his partner that 'I will get the stars down for you', all he has to do is to gift her gold jewellery.

Puzzled? Scientists have recently discovered that some of Earth's most precious metals may have formed due to a massive collision between two neutron stars, 4.6 billion years ago. They estimate that the event had occurred 100 million years before the formation of the earth at a distance of roughly 1000 light years away from our solar system.

What is a neutron star collision?

A neutron star, by definition, is a set of closely packed neutrons from the collapsed core of a giant star after a supernova explosion which is not big enough to produce a black hole. Two neutron stars orbiting close to each other may spiral inward as time passes due to gravitational radiation resulting in a merger, creating a bigger neutron star or a black hole depending on their remnant mass passing a particular threshold level.

The recent discovery has made scientists believe that if the explosion had occurred today the resulting radiation "could outshine the entire night sky."

Astrophysicists Szabolcs Marka from Columbia University and Imre Bartos from the University of Florida have theorized that a neutron star collision would have likely created 0.3 percent of Earth's heaviest elements, which include valuable metals such as gold, platinum, and uranium based on analysis of meteorite isotopes and comparing this data to simulations of the Milky Way.

"A wedding ring, which expresses a deep human connection, is also a connection to our cosmic past predating humanity and the formation of Earth itself, with about 10 milligrams of it likely having formed 4.6 billion years ago," said Bartos publishing the results in the science journal 'Nature'.

They believe that their research will help shed light on Earth's origins echoing the famous French artist Paul Gauguin: Where did we come from and where are we going?

Twitter has been celebrating the news that many were wearing stars on Earth literally


 

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