Fact Zap

Supernova Makes Gold

Supernova stars are densely packed stars that can make gold, silver and other valuable metals.

Clipart of star shining bright

⚡ When huge stars die, they become Neutron stars.

⚡ Neutron stars are small and dense.

⚡ Neutron stars are made of mostly neutrons that are packed tight.

⚡ A matchbox sized Neutron star is so densely packed that it can hold 500 pyramids of Giza.

⚡ When two Neutron stars collide, they merge to become a kilonova.

Supernova are 10 to 100 times bigger and brighter than a kilonova.

⚡ Kilonova are the cosmic mines where elements like gold, silver and platinum are forged.

⚡ High temperature and pressure in a kilonova converts the star material previous metals.

⚡ A kilonova detected in 2021 produced heavy metals 1000 times more than the Earth's mass.

⚡ In 2023, scientists found a kilonova that made Tellerium, an element rarer than platinium.

Heat Shields on Spacecrafts

Spacecrafts are designed to withstand harsh journeys. Heatshields are needed to help spacecrafts travel at blazing speeds through a planet's atmosphere.

Photo of Starship source: SpaceX

Starship is the spacecraft designed for future missions to Mars.

⚡ Starship's lower part will come apart during space travel and return back to Earth.

⚡ Top part of the spacecraft will head to Mars.

⚡ Gravity will pull the spacecraft making it reach high speeds.

⚡ Atmospheric friction and heat can destroy the racing spacecraft in minutes, making it burst into flames.

⚡ Starship is protected by the heat shield made of special silica tiles.

⚡ Silica tiles are ceramic tiles that do not catch fire.

⚡ 18000 hexagonal tiles cover the space ship.

⚡ Stainless steel body and ceramic lining give additional protection.

Cryogenic Stainless Steel can withstand high heat and freezing cold.