Secret of gold finally found: precious metals are forged in cataclysmic collision of neutron stars – by Sarah Knapton (The Telegraph – October 16, 2017)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

The secret of creating gold has fascinated alchemists for thousands of years, but now scientists have finally solved the mystery. Precious metals are forged in the cataclysmic collision of neutron stars and then flung out into the universe where they eventually aggregate with other stardust into larger bodies, like planets or comets.

Previously scientists had theorised that such cosmic smashes could create the vast amount of energy needed to create gold, platinum and silver, but for the first time, they have actually recorded it happening.

On August 17, astronomers in the US picked up a signal from two neutron stars crashing together 130 million years ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth.

The impact, known as a ‘kilanova’ was so powerful that it shook not only space but also time, sending ripples – or gravitational waves – through the fabric of the universe.

After the ripple was detected on Earth, astronomers across the world pointed their telescopes to the area of space from which it had originated and soon also picked up the bright afterglow from the collision. Inside that light were the distinct chemical signatures for gold, silver and platinum.

For the rest of this article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/10/16/secret-gold-finally-found-precious-metals-forged-cataclysmic/

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