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May 10, 2019

Ancient Neutron-Star Crash Made Enough Gold and Uranium to Fill Earth’s Oceans

Posted by in categories: chemistry, cosmology

Enough gold, uranium and other heavy elements about equal in mass to all of Earth’s oceans likely came to the solar system from the collision of two neutron stars billions of years ago, a new study finds.

If the same event were to happen today, the light from the explosion would outshine the entire night sky, and potentially prove disastrous for life on Earth, according to the new study’s researchers.

Recent findings have suggested that much of the gold and other elements heavier than iron on the periodic table was born in the catastrophic aftermath of colliding neutron stars, which are the ultradense cores of stars left behind after supernova explosions.

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