Two researchers suggest a small amount of Earth’s heaviest elements were created in the collision of two neutron stars 4.6 billion years ago. We probably have some of this in our bodies right now! Gold, platinum, uranium, even iodine might’ve come from such a collision, 100 million years before the formation of Earth and about 100 light years away from the gas clouds that formed our solar system.
Speaking of colliding neutron stars, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory and the European VIRGO detector have identified two new neutron star collisions 500 million light years away and 1.2 billion light years away. In total, since making history with the first-ever direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015, the network has spotted evidence for two neutron star mergers, 13 black hole mergers, and one possible black hole-neutron star merger.
The first Planetarium opened in Chicago in 1930 on May 12th; The Fels Planetarium in Philadelphia was the second, opening in 1934.
Turning to highlights in the night sky this week: Mars can still be spotted in the evening, Jupiter rising around midnight.