Hypothesis: collisions of neutron stars could cause the appearance of plutonium in the solar system

In 2017, observatories around the world observed the collision of two extremely dense cosmic bodies.

energies. The mass of the neutron stars that took part in this event is several times greater than the mass of the Sun - and the size of the objects was the size of a large city.

It is known that elements heavier thaniron, partially formed due to the "p-process" - when an event with high energy leads to the fact that nucleus atomic nuclei quickly absorb a lot of neutrons. As soon as an event slows down, some of these neutrons decay radioactively into protons. Potential conditions for the emergence of "p-processes" are mergers of supernova and neutron stars.

We discovered a neutron star merger two years agoback - and it was much closer to the Milky Way than we expected. Elements heavier than iron make up a tiny fraction of 1% of all matter in the universe, but they are very useful to us in many ways. Knowing how they came about will help us feel at home in the universe.

Imre Bartos, first author of the study and assistant professor at the University of Florida

Earlier, the LIGO/Virgo gravitational wave observatories for the second time in history recorded a gravitational burst that occurred as a result of the merger of two neutron stars.