Kilonova Spews Hundred of Planets’ Worth of Gold & Platinum


Astronomers suspected that all of the gold and platinum on Earth formed as a result of ancient kilonovae created during neutron star collisions. On August 17, 2017, scientists made history with the first direct observation of a collision between two neutron stars that created a kilonova–a turbocharged explosion that instantly forged several hundred planets’ worth of gold and platinum. The observations provided the first compelling evidence that kilonovae produce large quantities of heavy metals, a finding long predicted by theory.