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Old 11-12-2009, 05:01 AM   #56
"Hoodie Jr"
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Hot Springs, Ouachitah
Posts: 76,807

Maybe the human spirit is the antithesis of gold? No less destructible?

Current thinking is that gold is created when stars explode. Stars are initially composed of the gaseous element hydrogen. This 'burns' in a nuclear reaction (fusion) to produce helium. When all the hydrogen is used up, the helium burns to produce carbon, which in turn burns to produce heavier elements. This process continues until the core of the star becomes iron, compressed to an incredible density and at an enormously high temperature. Since iron is unable to burn in the same way, the nuclear process stops and the star collapses inwards. This causes massive shockwaves which literally rip the star apart. As the shockwave travels through the upper layers of the star, elements are flung together in all sorts of haphazard arrangements and some combine to produce gold and other heavy elements. Then the star explodes, shooting off most of its mass into space. A small remnant star is left behind. This explosion is known as a supernova - it is the ultimate fate of all large stars. Supernovas are so bright that they can briefly outshine all the other stars in the galaxy put together.
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