How gold was created

Discover the news and anecdotes of the gold market

The gold deposits are, in the vast majority of cases, under our feet. In South Africa, Indonesia or Peru, gold mines dig into the earth to extract the precious yellow metal.

Yet what ends under the feet of humans has begun elsewhere, above their heads, in space.

A few years ago, scientists hypothesized an explosive creation of gold, worthy of the greatest mythological accounts. Indeed, gold is a heavy element, which indicates a creation in cataclysmic conditions.

At Harvard, Professor Edo Berger explains that gold would be created during the monumental collision between two neutron stars, the residues of supernovas, these explosions marking the end of a star. Neutron stars, unlike our Sun, are therefore not gigantic stars, but their diameter is simply a few tens of kilometres. However, their mass is much greater.

When two of these stars collide, a whole set of nuclear reactions occurs, allowing the creation of new so-called heavy elements, including gold, in a cloud of materials and gases.

According to Edo Burger, only one of these phenomena can create the gold equivalent of ten times the mass of our Moon.

However, this gold would not have ended up directly on Earth at the time of its creation. The hypothesis is that the original Earth did not possess any gold. It would have been necessary to wait for an event called “Great Late Bombardment” for our planet to see a shower of meteors and asteroids bringing gold and other metals four billion years ago.