How is gold made by nature?



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    The gold that is found on our Earth today is likely billions of years old, having been formed early in the life of our solar system either by supernovas or by collisions between neutron stars.  Supernovas are explosions of giant stars, which spend their lifetimes creating energy by fusing lighter elements into heavier ones.  When they run out of light elemets and can no longer fuel themselves, they collapse and spew the heavy elements they’ve been producing out into the universe.  These heavy elements then become part of the space dust out of which planets, such as Earth, are formed.  While it is commonly accepted that supernovas do produce gold, many scientists argue that a solitary supernova could not create the amount of gold on our planet.  They suggest that the gold on Earth came from the collision two of neutron stars (neutrons stars being a product of supernovae).  Neutron stars are extremely dense, and when they collide, the resultng explosions decompress this dense material and can form substantial amounts of heavy elements such as gold.

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