Metals Notes

There’s Gold in That?

Gold is forged in the death of stars. It was sailing around in the gas and dust that created our sun and the planets of our solar system. Once just a theory, scientists finally observed evidence of its formation in August of 2017 when the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected the remnant cores of two massive stars spiraling toward and then smashing into each other, approximately 130 million light years away. These neutron stars, the collapsed cores of stars that were once much more massive than our Sun, merged to form a black hole and, in the process, many heavy metals, including gold. This was the first time scientists saw the rapid neutron capture process (r-process) in action and could confirm the origin of gold. Read more