Carl Sagan’s famous words: “We are star stuff” refers to a mind-blowing idea – that most atomic nuclei in our bodies were created in the nuclear furnace and the explosive deaths of stars that lived in the ancient universe. In recent years it’s become clear that the truth is even more mind-blowing. Many heavy elements - includes most precious metals - were produced in an even more spectacular event: the collision of neutron stars. In fact, according to a recent study most of the Earth’s supply of these elements was created in a single neutron star merger that took place near our Sun’s birth nebula 80 million years ago before Earth formed.
Hosted by Matt O'Dowd Written by Matt O'Dowd Graphics by Leonardo Scholzer Directed by Andrew Kornhaber Produced By: Kornhaber Brown
When I was in astrophysicist school they taught us that all of the elements of the periodic table between carbon and iron were produced in onion shells by nuclear fusion in the cores of very massive stars during the last phases of their lives. And that the elements heavier than iron were synthesized in the following supernova explosion. That latter process is well understood – the star’s dead core collapses and protons are converted to neutrons. The surrounding shells ricochet outwards, along with a layer of the iron and nickel core. The latter is blasted by a wave of neutrons, which get rammed into the escaping nuclei. Some of those captured neutrons convert back to protons and so elements all the way up the periodic table can be made. This is the rapid neutron capture or r-process. The rapid part is because neutrons are captured faster than nuclei can decay, making it possible to build very heavy nuclei.
Big Bang Supporters:
Anton Lifshits David Nicklas Fabrice Eap Juan Benet Justin Lloyd
Mark Heising Mark Rosenthal Tambe Barsbay Vinnie Falco
Chuck zegar Danton Spivey Donal Botkin Edmund Fokschaner Hank S John Hofmann Jordan Young Joseph Salomone kkm Mark Heising Matthew Matthew O'Connor
Gamma Ray Burst Supporters:
Adrien Hatch Alexey Eromenko Andreas Nautsch Bradley Jenkins Brandon Labonte Carlo Mogavero Daniel Lyons David Behtala DFaulk Dustan Jones Geoffrey Short James Flowers James Quintero John Funai John Pollock Jonah Jonathan Nesfeder Joseph Dillman Joseph Emison Josh Thomas Kevin Warne Kyle Hofer Malte Ubl Mark Vasile Nathan Hitchings Nick Virtue Paul Rose Ryan Jones Scott Gossett Sigurd Ruud Frivik Tim Jones Tim Stephani Tommy Mogensen Yurii Konovaliuk سلطان الخليفي