This illustration shows the hot, dense, expanding cloud of debris stripped from neutron stars just before they collided. This cloud produces a kilonova; that is an astronomical event that occurs when two neutron stars or a neutron star and a black hole merge into each other. This cloud shows the visible and infrared light. Within this neutron-rich debris, large quantities of some of the universe’s heaviest elements were forged, including hundreds of Earth masses of gold and platinum.
影像来源：NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab