Gold is a pretty well-understood precious metal. That is, except in reference to where all of Earth’s gold came from. As numerous bankrupt alchemists learned the hard way, there is no real way to create gold on Earth. All of Earth’s gold, mined or not, has been here for millions of years. But where did the Earth’s gold come from originally?
Scientists have answered that question, announcing today that all gold in the universe stems from the fallout of two stars crashing into one another. When stars make contact, the massive collision between the two forces creates gamma-ray bursts, as well as a number of exotic materials that are otherwise unobtainable in the universe.
Star collisions happen after stars have already gone supernova, and now remain as neutron stars. The tiny “dead” stars are about the size of a major city, but maintain the mass and density of a full-sized star. When two neuron stars come too close, they begin to circle each other faster and fast until the two stars crash into each other at or near the speed of light.
And that’s how gold is made.
This new research on gold is only one of several discoveries from astronomer’s research on a gamma-ray burst 3.9 billion light-years from earth. In particular, astronomers looked at the massive radioactive fallout the star collision left in its wake, and analyzed what materials the fallout consisted of. When the two researched neuron stars collided, they released 10 moon masses worth of gold. The blast also released ample amounts of Uranium and Platinum.
As we all kind of remember from science class, our galaxy is built from the remains of long-lost exploding planets. It is the massive fallout of assorted matter that swirled into a newfound Milky Way. In that big ball of swirling material was some gold. And wouldn’t you know it, a decent chunk of that gold found its way onto Earth.