“It’s long been wondered where gold comes from…”

From Richard Russell’s Remark of May 28, 2014 — Matt’s Market Insights

“It’s long been wondered where gold comes from. Until last year it was generally thought that gold was created during supernovas, the explosions signaling the death of giant stars. Stars are nature’s nuclear reactors, responsible for creating all elements heavier than hydrogen and helium (remember the periodic table of elements?). When large stars explode, the immense energy has the power to fuse together elements, one of which was thought to be gold. But last year astronomical research was published concluding that supernovas are responsible primarily for the creation of elements only up to iron. The heavier elements including gold, mercury, lead and platinum are now thought to come from neutron star collisions.

A neutron star is what’s left over after a large star goes supernova. The exploding star collapses on itself, producing bodies that contain more mass than our sun in roughly the size of a city. Researchers from the Harvard astronomy department have evidence that when two of these neutron stars collide, they produce all the elements in our universe heavier than iron, including gold. The neutron star collisions responsible for creating gold also produce black holes, some of the strangest and most fascinating objects in our universe.

In 2013 researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center of Astrophysics were able to determine that in a typical neutron star collision, about ten times the mass of the moon is produced in gold alone. That’s a lot of gold! 

One of the other interesting ideas presented is that based on the composition of meteors, which are thought to be representative of early earth, our planet could have enough gold in its core to cover the entire globe with a 12 foot thick layer of the metal. If only there was a way to get it out of the core …”


Nuria Pujol