Caltech

University of Maryland astronomers strike gold — and platinum — as they watch neutron stars collide

University of Maryland astronomers strike gold — and platinum — as they watch neutron stars collide

In a highly anticipated first, scientists said they’ve detected the collision of two neutron stars and confirmed that these cataclysmic events are indeed a source of gold, platinum and other heavy elements in the universe.

The powerful smash-up produced gravitational waves that were picked up in mid-August by specialized observatories in the United States and Italy and a burst of gamma rays that was seen a few seconds later. News of the observations spread quickly among astronomers and other researchers, setting of a flurry of activity as they raced to find the stars in the sky and capture the event using more traditional telescopes.

Researchers at the University of Maryland...

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