Two years ago, the astronomers, for the first time, observed the collision of two neutron stars that created the gravitational waves and light and created heavy elements such as gold, platinum, and lead. These all the elements were scattered across the universe in a kilonova similar to a supernova after the initial fireball. Now, astronomers have also detected strontium, a substantial element, that was freshly made in the aftermath of the collision. This discovery adds to evidence suggesting that neutron star mergers can create heavy items found throughout the space.
The Neutron stars are the smallest in the universe, with a diameter comparable to the size of a city like Chicago or Atlanta. They are the leftover remnants of supernovae. They are incredibly dense and masses bigger than the sun. By reanalyzing the 2017 data from the merger, we have now identified the signature of one substantial element in this fireball, and strontium, proving that the collision of neutron stars have created this element in the space, said Darach Watson, lead study author at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
Strontium is an element used in fireworks. Astronomers have been studying how heavy items have created for decades. Over the years, they’ve determined which the cosmic forces are responsible for others. This is the end of the stage of a decades-long chase to pin down the origin of elements,” Watson said. The processes that created the elements that happened in the ordinary stars in the supernova explosions.