Study: Dead stars colliding forged gold on Earth

  • Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2013 4:08 p.m.
AP Photo/Fairbanks Gold Mining Inc., File
This file photo shows mining at the Fort Knox Mine, which is currently the largest operating gold mine in Alaska.
AP Photo/Fairbanks Gold Mining Inc., File This file photo shows mining at the Fort Knox Mine, which is currently the largest operating gold mine in Alaska.

LOS ANGELES — Scientists said they have fresh evidence that all the gold on Earth was forged from ancient collisions of dead stars.

Telescopes recently detected a strange glow in a distant galaxy. Researchers said the glow came from the collision of dead stars.

Astronomers have long known that lighter elements such as carbon and oxygen are created within a star. But that can’t produce heavier elements like gold.

It was thought that gold was created in a supernova explosion. But the new research points to a different stellar process involving the collisions of dead or neutron stars that occurred long before the solar system existed.

The new work was led by Harvard-affiliated researchers and will appear in a future issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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