Star Collision Spreads Gold and Platinum Across the Universe, Treasure of Info for Science

(CNN) For the first time ever, scientists have observed the spectacular collision of two neutron stars.  A NASA animation recreates what happened. Neutron stars are amazingly dense and very small. They have masses bigger than our sun, compressed into a body with a diameter roughly the size of a city like Chicago. In an event captured by earth-based telescopes in August -- two neutron stars entered a death spiral and collided. The collision released more energy than has been released during our sun's entire lifetime. It also emitted electromagnetic waves and space-time ripples. It even scattered heavy elements like gold and platinum across the universe.

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