No one is completely sure. The relative average abundance in our Solar System appears higher than can be made in the early universe, in stars, and even in typical supernova explosions. Some astronomers now suggest that neutron-rich heavy elements such as gold might be most easily made in rare neutron-rich explosions such as the collision of neutron stars. Pictured above is a computer-animated frame depicting two neutron stars spiraling in toward each other, just before they collide. Since neutron star collisions are also suggested as the origin of gamma-ray bursts, it is possible that you already own a souvenir from one of the most powerful explosions in the universe.
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NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: neutron star - gold
Publications with words: neutron star - gold
- A Hotspot Map of Neutron Star J0030s Surface
- Unusual Signal Suggests Neutron Star Destroyed by Black Hole
- The Lonely Neutron Star in Supernova E0102 72.3
- NGC 4993: The Galactic Home of an Historic Explosion
- GW170817: A Spectacular Multiradiation Merger Event Detected
- On the Origin of Gold
- Cooling Neutron Star