Astronomers, including a team at Columbia University, have for the first time witnessed a pair of dead neutron stars colliding, and have confirmed that the heaviest metals in the universe, from gold to platinum, are formed in explosions like this one spotted 130 million light-years away.
Despite recent media reports, there’s no imminent threat, says Columbia geologist Einat Lev; the Yellowstone supervolcano currently shows no signs of eruption.
Zsuzsa Marka, a Columbia astrophysicist, and Brian David Metzger, a theorist at Columbia, describe the spectacular sights and sounds of a pair of dead stars colliding in a kilonova explosion.
“The most straight-forward climate-change connection is through warming. As long as there is fuel to burn, drying the fuel out increases fire danger, and fuels dry out faster and more when it’s warmer,” Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Columbia University.