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California Institute of Technology

Collisions of Dead Stars Spray Heavy Elements Throughout Small Galaxies

5 Jun 2018, 18:41 UTC
Collisions of Dead Stars Spray Heavy Elements Throughout Small Galaxies ESO

Caltech scientists have found, for the first time, that merging pairs of neutron stars—the burnt-out cores of stars that have exploded—create the majority of heavy elements in small "dwarf" galaxies. Heavy elements, such as silver and gold, are key for planet formation and even life itself. By studying these dwarf galaxies, the researchers hope to learn more about the primary sources of heavy elements for the whole universe.

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