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 dense space bodies of extremely high

energies The mass of neutron stars that became participants in this event is several times larger than the mass of the Sun, while 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 for two years.back - 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 substances in the universe, but they are very useful for us in many ways. Knowing how they happened will help us feel at home in the universe.

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

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