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Old 16 October 2017, 03:47 PM
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UEL UEL is offline
 
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Baseball Scientists witness huge cosmic crash, find origins of gold

Quote:
WASHINGTON -- It was a faint signal, but it told of one of the most violent acts in the universe, and it would soon reveal secrets of the cosmos, including how gold was created.

Astronomers around the world reacted to the signal quickly, focusing telescopes located on every continent and even in orbit to a distant spot in the sky.

What they witnessed in mid-August and revealed Monday was the long-ago collision of two neutron stars -- a phenomenon California Institute of Technology's David H. Reitze called "the most spectacular fireworks in the universe."
http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/scien...gold-1.3633999

I found the connection between initial observation and LIGO reporting to be exciting. I had no idea that LIGO was still collecting data (had no reason to think it had stopped either).
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Old 16 October 2017, 09:33 PM
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The headline implies we didn't know where heavy elements like gold came from. We did know of one way - from supernovae. A lot of articles and sites are implying that the heavy elements we have were formed this way and that we didn't know this before. Other sites are reporting that this discovery means we now know all heavy elements came from neutron star collisions (called kilonovae). That's not what this means. If I understand correctly, these observations show that is another way that heavy elements are formed and it looks like up to half of them are formed this way. (I don't know what that means for the elements we have here on Earth - whether they would mostly be from a few events or many and whether this will let us confirm which kind of events those were soon...) [IANA Astrophysicist so correct me if I'm wrong, someone.]
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Old 17 October 2017, 06:00 AM
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Don Enrico Don Enrico is offline
 
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I understand that we already knew that collisions of neutron stars are a source for heavy elements. It's just the first time that we were able to witness such a kilonova.
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Old 25 October 2017, 03:31 PM
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Is there any gold on Uranus?
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Old 26 October 2017, 03:28 AM
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Sheesh, buy a girl a drink first.
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Old 26 October 2017, 04:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Enrico View Post
I understand that we already knew that collisions of neutron stars are a source for heavy elements. It's just the first time that we were able to witness such a kilonova.
I don't think that's quite right. The acceptance of the hypothesis was relatively recent. (The word kilonova isn't ten years old yet.) The "knowing" came from this event. For many decades and even up until this event, supernovae were thought to be the source (and, in the end they still are indirectly because neutron stars are the result supernovae). Now it seems that these events are the primary source.

I don't know what portion they are saying. A few weeks ago it was "about half" but this observation really does change things more it seems. Now many are saying "most".
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