The Deep Space Creation of Silver and Gold

There has been published this month a study based on a collaboration of Japanese and European scientists on the stellar processes responsible for creating various elements including silver.

We all are probably familiar with the creation process behind the lighter elements like hudrogen and helium for example.  They were all created during the Big Bang and all happened within a few minutes from the Universe existing.  However the heavier elements we belive were created much later, probably within the interior of stars or during the explosions at the end of their lives.  The idea is that each new generation of starts perhaps contributing one or two new elements to the Universe.


Here for example is HD 213657 which is a dwarf star that is rich in silver, it’s situated in the constellation Grus observed as part of this study.  What elements can be produced depend largely on the mass of the star at least during it’s lifetime.  Although much heavier elements can be created during the end of a star’s life – when it explodes.  Interstingly though it has been found that when a star does explode the ratio of the various elements generated is identical across the Universe.

The survey also found that silver has a completely different creation process to gold.  So supernova silver is formed in a fusion process that is completely different from the one which creates gold.  The scientists in this survey have decided that in their opinions gold and silver cannot have been created side by side,

The search now continues to find some more information on the fusion processes that do create the silver and gold elements.  The creation of silver seems particularly significant and as yet we have little knowledge of the conditions required to create this precious metal.