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by Robert Kurlich
In a supernova in the depths
of space, long, long ago...
Click here to read and hear more about the fascinating origin of gold
For another small article, see also NASA's Picture of the day -- On the Origin of Gold.
(R. Nemiroff & J, Bonnell) -- Where did the gold in your jewelry originate? No one is completely sure. The relative average abundance in our Solar System appears higher than can be made in the early universe, in stars, and even in typical supernova explosions. Some astronomers have recently suggested that neutron-rich heavy elements such as gold might be most easily made in rare neutron-rich explosions such as the collision of neutron stars. Since neutron star collisions are also suggested as the origin of short duration gamma-ray bursts, it is possible that you already own a souvenir from one of the most powerful explosions in the universe.
Original article at NPR, February
Deep space photography courtesy of the talented teams at NASA and STScI
Reprinted with permission