Did Gold Come from a Supernova?

Gold is the ultimate recyclable product on Earth.  Gold is a metal which is a pure element. It has an atomic number of 79, making it one of the heaviest naturally-occurring metals. It is soft, heavy, and yellow in color. Gold has a number of properties which make it ideal for making jewelry: it looks nice, it is soft, ductile, malleable, and it doesn’t tarnish.

Gold has been used for jewelry since metals were first discovered about 6,500 years ago.  Jewelry you are wearing today might be made from gold jewelry found in ancient Egypt.  It also has been used for centuries in coins, statues, and industry.  It’s valuable!  Don’t throw it away.  Recycle it by selling it, or keep it.

But where did Gold come from?  While “gold mines” would not be an incorrect answer, this blog post addresses the bigger picture.

It is the commonly-held conclusion among scientists and astronomers that gold came from a neutron-rich supernova that exploded and formed our solar system, scattering the neutron-rich heavy element gold throughout the galaxy.  Let me explain how this works.

supernovaA supernova is basically an exploding star.  After a few million years of generating energy by fusing light elements into heavier ones (hydrogen to helium, helium to carbon, and so on), the core runs out of fuel. Iron builds up in the very center of the star, and no star in the Universe has what it takes to fuse iron.  At some point, so much iron builds up that it cannot support its own weight, and the ball of iron collapses.

A Type II supernova results from the death of a single star much more massive than the sun. When such a star begins to burn out, its core quickly collapses. Tremendous energy is suddenly released in the form of neutrinos (a type of subatomic particle) and electromagnetic radiation (electric and magnetic energy). This energy causes the star to erupt into a supernova.

Supernovae can also leave behind different types of objects. After some supernova explosions, there remains a small, dense star composed mainly of neutrons or perhaps of elementary particles called quarks. Such a star is called a neutron star. Rapidly-rotating, highly-magnetized neutron stars are called pulsars. After other explosions, an invisible object called a black hole may be left behind. A black hole has such powerful gravitational force that not even light can escape it. In some cases, no object of any kind remains after a supernova explosion.

Scientists believe that supernovae created all the heavier elements, such as iron, gold, and uranium, that are found on earth and have been detected in objects outside the solar system. Also, there is evidence that some high-energy cosmic rays originate in supernovae.

Comments

21 Comments on Did Gold Come from a Supernova?

  1. mike mann syr.
  2. The universe is golden

  3. Some1
  4. Well if you read any decent source about fusion in stars, you’d know that the fusion inside stars produces energy when fusing into elements as heavy as iron. Stars can even produce limited quantities of elements heavier than iron in their final stages although that consumes energy rather than producing it. It is the accumulation of enough iron in the core of a star that causes the supernova, so your last paragraph is misleading.

    [...] dependent in the so-called rare earth elements. They are rare because of how they are created: When a star dies violently. Each atom of gold, silver or copper was once created in an exploding star because the normal [...]

    How do we get so far removed from creation when trying to explain the universe? I don’t get it.
    This is a whimsical theory for how gold was created… We have 238 elements in the periodic table, right?
    Wouldn’t you think that if a star is fusing elements together that a bunch of them would be other elements instead of marching in a straight line and making just a few of them?
    What is controlling how they are being transformed, and why are we not seeing all the elements we know of being created in some random stages?
    How can we call this science? Who has actually observed fusion, repeated it, and made sound judgement for all to review?
    I love it when articles like this say the word “perhaps”. That means you don’t know…. right?
    So why do we eat this up and think that the people who dream this up are science gods… when really there is no foundation to stand upon?
    Sounds like space age alchemy to me… still unproven.

    Can anyone in this world heat up hyrogen and make it into helium yet? And helium to carbon, and carbon to iron?

    I know we can make carbon into diamonds… but that is a molecular change… not an atomic one. In biology, that would be like mating a wolf with a dog… quite possible and has been done… but you can’t mate a dog with a horse and get a giraffe…. it won’t work.

    So why do we think laws of nature can be broken with enough heat and pressure? nonsense.

  5. Robert Smith
  6. I liked the article so I think alot of questions and statements here need to be addressed…

    “How do we get so far removed from creation when trying to explain the universe?”

    Research, I believe is how society has began to move away from older theories and onto new ones. You likely find it insulting to have creationism called a theory, sorry.

    “This is a whimsical theory for how gold was created…”

    A universe we have today being the result of time and gravity is much more believable to me than a god having created the universe (never mind how the god came into existence)

    “We have 238 elements in the periodic table, right?”

    118 elements on the periodic table currently (more are theorized to exist however)

    “Wouldn’t you think that if a star is fusing elements together that a bunch of them would be other elements instead of marching in a straight line and making just a few of them?”

    I am no astrophysicist, I must trust the guys that CAN do the math for that much gravity, at least until I am one, apparently the consensus is that of this article

    “What is controlling how they are being transformed, and why are we not seeing all the elements we know of being created in some random stages?”

    Immense gravity fuses the elements together if I understand correctly

    Apparently the math does not allow for anything heavier than iron to fuse

    “How can we call this science?”

    The bulk of the scientists in the field currently have consensus with the theories involved

    “Who has actually observed fusion, repeated it, and made sound judgement for all to review?”

    Look in the night sky, observe fusion

    You cannot repeat fusion to my knowledge without the mass/gravity of a star

    Observable data on fusion jives with the math, for instance spectrum yields element content. ‘Sound judgement’ is relative to the judges, I’m sure may astrophysicists have no issue with articles like these

    “I love it when articles like this say the word “perhaps”. That means you don’t know…. right?”

    I think its a sign of being open to competing theories and not claiming their own to be the best theory, I know I cant say Im 100% sure about anything, especially what I know to be true of the universe having to rely on all these other people to do the math for me, for all I know you could have the correct theories or theory of how all the elements came about

    “So why do we eat this up and think that the people who dream this up are science gods… when really there is no foundation to stand upon?”

    Im pretty sure this is all built on math you can do yourself, to calculate the same conclusions using gravity & mass, I dont consider writers of these articles to be science gods, just good writes that share my interests. Kip Thorne would be an example of a science god to me. Many theories cannot currently be proven, not unlike your own

    “Can anyone in this world heat up hyrogen and make it into helium yet? And helium to carbon, and carbon to iron?”

    The first thermonuclear fusion reactions to take place on Earth occurred at Eniwetok Atoll on October 31, 1952. Although I don’t think we’ve fused anything besides hydrogen at this point, I think thats probably a good thing considering the amount of force it took back then to fuse hydrogen

    “I know we can make carbon into diamonds… but that is a molecular change… not an atomic one. In biology, that would be like mating a wolf with a dog… quite possible and has been done… but you can’t mate a dog with a horse and get a giraffe…. it won’t work.”

    As long as were talking about whats possible genetically, how we discuss how all humans supposedly decended from only two people?

    “So why do we think laws of nature can be broken with enough heat and pressure? nonsense.”

    Who thought that? From what I understand, the current known laws of nature work all the way back to just after the first moments after the big bang (is theorized to have occurred :)

  7. Thomas Y.
  8. Man, Bruce Johnson, you’re such an idiot.

  9. Joe Desravines
  10. Who do you think created the world?

  11. Joe Desravines
  12. There is only one God,and he is the creator of everything.

  13. P Bullock
  14. Joe Desravines i hope your joking

  15. lance l
  16. Its painful to hear some people speak their minds. Mariot Robert Morison owes two of you a shot in the gut. Science is the key to future development and evolution of human thought and experience. Why limit yourself to one view when the number of possibilities doubles each day. I want to be able to consider the entire universe and its wonder when I think of home. Not just this beautiful rock on which we all sit.

    Well now I think that we, the earth, humans, animals etc. are just a science project for some juvenile “being” that create, study and play with “universes” as part of their curriculum. Kind of like a giant ant farm in glass that some children made, studied and played with yrs ago.

  17. Joseph Santoro
  18. Anyone who STILL believes in a all knowing ,all creating, all seeing, supreme being….must still believe the earth is flat and is the center of our solar system

    Car shopping can be very time consuming. There are plenty of cars you can look at, as well as a handful of factors to
    consider. You need to make sure you are aware of
    what you need to make it a better experience. Consider the following helpful advice for making things
    easier on you.

  19. Ken
  20. To answer some of Bruce Johnson’s questions:
    1) To fuse various elements requires a certain amount of energy. Heavier elements require more energy to create via fusion. The pressure within the Sun sets a limit on the amount of energy available. And that sets the limit to fusing iron. Fusing iron into something heavier requires more energy than is available. The heavier elements only get created during high energy events like novas and supernovas.
    2) You mention 238 elements in the periodic table. Are you aware that elements greater than 92 are called man-made? This is because they are not found in nature. They are only made by us, in particle accelerators. So yes, we are doing fusion all the time here on earth and studying it.

    So rather than imagine what is going on, you would be better off actually studying the topic before commenting.

  21. Ross Presser
  22. Human fusion of hydrogen to helium has been accomplished, in small amounts, for nearly half a century. Look up the Farnsworth Fusor — there are even youtube videos of it in action. It’s not net energy positive, but it does definitely produce helium (and neutrons) from hydrogen and input energy.

  23. Really Fat Guy
  24. I supernoverd the toilet bowl once. didn’t find no gold there tho.

  25. The Pope
  26. Blasphemy!!!!!! god spoke existence into the universe in 7 days. This article is propaganda designed to sway your devotion to the one true creator god

  27. funny reply guy
  28. @ Really fat guy. keep trying guy you are bound to strike gold sooner or later. my tip is to really swift them fingers through the nover debris found in the bowl.

  29. atheist
  30. @the pope. how can you really believe that god spoke existence into the universe in 7 days. the earth is like 4.67 billion years old not to mention the universe is like 14 BILLION years old. explain that

  31. The Pope
  32. @atheist. God created the earth in six days by using His divine power and by dividing all the creations in order. On the first day, He created light and darkness, on the second day He separated the waters and on the third day He created dry ground. On the fourth day, He made the celestial bodies and on the fifth day He created the birds and sea creatures. On the sixth day, He created the animals and man and He rested on the seventh day.

  33. ScienceoverGod
  34. I really am embarrassed for humankind when i hear some of the comments. It seems like we have a lot of educating to do before we can get rid of this most fundamental ignorance.

    All the elements heavier than Iron are fused in stars mainly via the s process and r process. Binding of nuclei to create elements with higher mass than Iron is endothermic, meaning you get less energy out than you put in.

    Yes, no one has been t the centre of a star to observe the process, but then again you really don’t need to.

Tell me what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!









      The charts below are updated frequently. Refresh your screen every 10-12 minutes to see the current gold and platinum prices.



      [Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com] [Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

    • Contact Sam Today!

      Gemologist Sam makes house calls or you can meet with him at his office. Either way, it's by appointment only!

      Call Sam at 727-804-7463.

      E-mail him at Sam@GemologistSam.com.

      His office is located at: 5510 River Road, Suite #211; New Port Richey, FL 34652.


  • Categories

  • Testimonials

    Read testimonials, ask questions, and rave about Gemologist Sam on his Feedback page!