A new study from researchers at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics may have the answer to the mystery surrounding the origin of gold, by showing the yellow metal is produced by cataclysmic star collisions that occur 10,000 – 100,000 years.

The basic premises of the research is that gold is rare on Earth because it’s rare in the universe and it cannot be produced within a star.What is required to produce gold is a violent event-specifically the clash of two neutron stars, that causes a black hole( Neutron stars are the dead cores of stars that previously exploded as supernovae). When they collide, it produces a gamma ray burst and in turn forms various elements including gold. This collision can produce as much as 10 moon masses worth of gold and can be valued as much as 10 octillion dollars.

David Aguilar, the center’s director of public affairs said “if we look at all the gold produced, coming from this rate of occurrence, we believe we can account for all the gold in the universe.”

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