The gigantic explosion of neutron stars will be able to create gold and platinum in the universe.
NOIRLab researchers have found a binary star system about to trigger a kilonova .
The system, named CPD – 29 2176 , is about to witness the merger of two neutron stars , an event that will even lead to the creation of heavy elements such as gold and platinum.
Kilonovas in space
The system is 11,400 light-years from Earth and was discovered by researchers at NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory. Its details were also corroborated by observations from Chile.
Within the binary system, there is a neutron star and a massive star that, after going through a supernova, will also become a neutron star .
Both stars will collide, producing a kilonova , emitting strong signals of electromagnetic radiation with gamma-ray bursts.
The study published in Nature also indicates that large amounts of gold and platinum will be created in the universe.
Researchers theorize that today ‘s neutron star was born from an ultra-exploded supernova, which lacks power unlike a typical supernova.
“The current neutron star would have to form without ejecting its companion from the system. An ultra-exploded supernova is the best explanation for why these companion stars are in such a close orbit,” said lead author Noel D. Richardson, a professor of physics and astronomy at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in a statement. “For a kilonova to one day be created , the other star would also have to become an ultra-exploded supernova so that the two neutron stars could collide and merge.”
When will this phenomenon occur?
This great event will not happen overnight. Scientists estimate that it takes a million years for the star to go supernova and then neutron .
After that, the spiral turn between the two neutron stars will just take place, which will cause the kilonova .