Two years ago, some observatories from around the world saw a high-energy collision between a pair of solid objects, and each of them was bigger than the Sun. A similar collision could have happened closer to us, and it could have been responsible for producing the heaviest elements from our solar system. Scientists think they know when that took place.
Researchers believe that these binary neutron stars are significant and that they are more substantial than the iron in the universe. These elements are scarce, but they are also essential for humans.
By using measurements of what is left out of these elements in meteorites, some researchers have worked to locate the neutron star merger that actually created some of them.
Neutron Star Collision Could Have Created the Plutonium from Our Solar System
This binary star merger was discovered two years ago, and it was very close to the Milky Way – actually, much closer than they originally anticipated. They even asked if there was something even closer and if it could have an impact on what the solar system looks like today.
Elements that are heavier than iron are formed because of the “r-process” – some high-energy event is the reason behind the seen atomic nuclei that quickly sucks up many neutrons.
After the event slows down, some of the neutrons deteriorate into protons. Supernovae is a stellar explosion, and it merges with a neutron star, they both are sources of the r-process elements.
First things first, the researchers want to see if a neutron star merges or the supernovae produced the elements that got their attention, such as plutonium and curium. Supernovae is where stars explode, and it takes place frequently. The neutron stars only merge a few times in millions of years in our galaxy.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.