Summary #888

First identification of a heavy element born from neutron star collision
  • Astronomers detected strontium, a heavy element found naturally in Earth soil, is created during a neutron star merger.
  • This is the last piece in the search for the origin of the elements, confirming rapid neutron capture as the process that creates elements heavier than iron.
  • The discovery confirms that neutron stars are made of neutrons, and that rapid neutron capture occurs during neutron star mergers.


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