Earth's gold formed by stellar collisions, scientists say

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Originally published on July 23, 2013

American astronomers have revealed that gold is likely the byproduct of the cataclysmic merger of neutron stars, according to the USA today.

Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics last month observed a gamma-ray burst, or the collision of two neutron stars.

Evidence revealed that the merger of the two dying stars, an event that occurs only once every 10 millennia in our galaxy, ejects the precious yellow metal and other heavy elements in the week after a collision.

The scientists estimate that an amount of gold roughly equivalent to the weight of 10 moons is produced by such a merger.

The team of researchers studied gamma-ray burst 130603B, which occurred four billion light-years away from Earth, in June.

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