Striking Cosmic Gold (Synopsis)

“Don’t gain the world and lose your soul;
wisdom is better than silver or gold.” -Bob Marley

Going back to ancient times, it’s hard to think of a more commonly coveted element than gold. In fact, trying to transmute other elements into it was perhaps the holy grail of the pseudoscience of alchemy, the forerunner of modern chemistry.

Image credit: National Etruscan Museum at Villa Giulia, of Etruscan Gold, via flickr user HEN-Magonza, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/hen-magonza/4256649637/.
Image credit: National Etruscan Museum at Villa Giulia, of Etruscan Gold, via flickr user HEN-Magonza, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/hen-magonza/4256649637/.

Yet, when was the last time you thought about where elements like gold actually came from? It’s true that small amounts are made in supernovae, but is that enough to account for the amount of gold we have here on Earth?

Image credit: Spitzer Space Telescope (red), Hubble Space Telescope (orange), Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue and green) / NASA.
Image credit: Spitzer Space Telescope (red), Hubble Space Telescope (orange), Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue and green) / NASA.

The surprising answer is no! So where does gold come from, cosmically? Go read the whole thing and find out.