collision of neutron stars

No one is completely sure where did the gold originate. The relative average abundance in our Solar System appears higher than can be made in the early universe, in stars and supernova explosions.

Some astronomers believe 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 here is an artist’s illustration depicting two neutron stars spiraling in toward each other, just before they collide. Since neutron star collisions are also suggested as the origin of short duration gamma-ray bursts, it is possible that you already own a souvenir from one of the most powerful explosions in the universe.

Credit: NASA/Dana Berry

source APOD