Dying stars can make gold as they collapse into black holes
The spinning orbs may help to explain the origin of such heavy elements in space
Gold may be a glittery leftover from a newborn black hole’s messy first meal.
Gold is a heavy element. So is platinum. And uranium. These and many other heavy elements might form when rapidly spinning, massive stars collapse into newly formed black holes. Known as collapsars, these stars get their name from that collapse. And as this last dying stage of their lives take place, layers of gas around them explode. That collapse and explosion leave a disk of material swirling around each new black hole. When that black hole devours the surrounding material, the conditions become just right for gold, platinum and other heavy elements to form, scientists now report. Read more.