A July 18 article, on the Radio-Canada website, had a compelling title: “La collision d’étoiles mortes à l’origine de l’or.” Translation: The collision of dead stars, the origin of gold.
Many images came to mind upon reading this title. It take thousands, even millions of years for any celestial body to shift its course. This is slow motion movement at its best. The attraction between two stars arriving within close enough proximity to collide might create a sudden acceleration in the process; motion that took eons leading to an instant burst. It would be a spectacular thing to witness (from a safe distance). And then it must take eons for the pieces to travel to other star and planet surfaces, by chance, carrying with them vestiges of gold?
Then, there is gold panning and gold digging. At first glance, this appears in total opposition to the notion of star-dust since we do find our gold under water and underground. But again, time is the common denominator. Anything randomly deposited on wild soil can and will, with the assistance of time, meteorological conditions, geological movement and even vegetation and animals, inch its way under water and underground, to rest within layer upon layer of earthly history. The gold digger himself is but a speck in time.
According to the article (is it not fitting that we should get to it after digging through layers of thoughts and imaginings?), the notion began to take form when NASA’s telescopes, Swift and Hubble, detected a particularly shiny hue in a far away galaxy, last month. Harvard scientists, who observed and analyzed the phenomenon, suspect it was due to the collision of dead stars.
The article further observes that scientists have long-established that whereas lighter elements, such as carbon, will readily form within a star, heavier elements, such as gold, require dramatic force and energy to come into being. Intense Gama rays are present when neutron (aka dead) stars collide. Scientists believe this was the source of the phenomenon they witnessed recently, and also likely the reason for the formation of such elements as gold.
It may take years before we fully map the path of gold from stellar collisions to earthly mountains and river ways. Meanwhile, this gives us rather interesting thoughts to ponder as we consider the journey of a single gold ring and a single speck of gold pulled from the quietly chanting waters of a Vermont river. And we’ll be ever slightly more pensive as we spend leisurely mornings panning the Brewster for star-dust.
Gold Panning Workshops: Wednesday – Friday, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Learn how to pan… We provide a pan and local gold-bearing black sand samples. You’ll learn how to recuperate gold in your pan, and where to look. We will discuss gemstones found locally. geology and history. All the gold you find is yours! -> More Details