Scientists Struck Gold With Cosmic Crash


by CNN

An artist’s depiction of the neutron star collision.

Jared Swislow, Staff Reporter/Photographer

130 million(130,000,000) years ago, two neutrons stars collided and revealed to scientists how gold was created.

On August 17th, signs of this crash, called a kilonova, reached Earth and were detected by NASA after travelling around 764 million-trillion miles across space. Neutron stars are so dense that a teaspoon of one would weigh about one billion tons. Scientists, after viewing it carefully, realized that the crash contained newly formed gold.

Although they already knew that iron came from an explosion of stars, scientists didn’t know about gold. They used to believe gold, like iron, came from exploding stars.

While they did find gold, these astronomers also found other precious metals such as silver and platinum.

Besides finding the origins of heavy metals, this proves an offshoot of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, gravitational waves. A mere two seconds after the crash, NASA detected a gamma ray burst that he theorized about 100 years ago.

This was the first time that these astrophysicists have seen light and gravitational waves made at the same time by the same event.

As it is with many discoveries of this nature, this raises many more questions about space.

Astronomers want to investigate further on neutron star collisions and hopefully see another similar event soon. They also wonder what other assumptions we have made that turned out to be wrong. This shows to do the same thing in your life and sometimes be skeptic.