Space news just in – one collapsing star creates 200 times the Earth’s mass in gold
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Heavy elements such as gold, platinum and uranium could be spewed out in the aftermath of black hole thought to form when a massive star collapses, according to a new study.
A single collapsed star, or collapsar, could create a few hundred times the Earth’s mass in gold, researchers say.
If one Earth weighs about 5.972 sextillion tonnes that’s…. a lot of gold.
We’ve mined 190,040 tonnes of gold throughout history, and the US Geological Survey estimates just 57,000 tonnes is left in the ground.
Scientists say a disk of material, swirling around the newly created black hole, can create the conditions necessary for this “astronomical alchemy”.
Previously, scientists had suspected that heavy elements like gold were formed when two dead stars collided.
In 2017, scientists spotted a collision between two stars, and there were signs of heavy elements like gold, silver and platinum materialising from the ensuing explosion.
However, a single collapsar might generate 30 times as much material as a neutron star merger, researchers say.