Michio Kaku Says Astronomy Reveals The Origin of Gold, Could Gold Mining In Space Be Next?

Michio Kaku explains gold is the product of a collision between two neutron stars. The origin of gold has long been a mystery. While precious metals are mined on earth, it has long been suspected gold and platinum did not originate in this solar system. Professor Kaku says our sun is not hot enough to produce these precious metals.

Instead, as Michio Kaku explains, scientists just discovered the collision of two neutron stars produces inconceivable quantities of gold and platinum.

Michio Kaku explains neutron stars are small dense stars, that are too small to become black holes. Neutron stars are made entirely of neutrons and are about 1.5 times the mass of the sun, yet they are only about the size of San Francisco according to CNBC.

These hot, dense little stars, Michio Kaku describes, are just too small to be black holes, even though they were once larger than the sun. Their mass, however, is one million metric tons per cubic centimeter, according to LiveScience. When two of these collide they scatter huge quantities of precious metals throughout the universe.

Michio Kaku explains the quantity of gold produced when two of these small but powerful stars collide in the video below.

"The amount of gold that came out of it was equivalent to ten earths. Think of ten earths made out of gold."
Michio Kaku also said there could be even more platinum than gold. Could gold and platinum be found and mined on other planets? If these metals landed on the earth, why would it not have landed on other planets and their moons?

Michio Kaku admits, somewhat reluctantly it could be possible there is gold to be mined on other planets, saying "it's conceivable."

"It is doable. It's conceivable right?"
Michio Kaku is apparently more excited about the technology that discovered how these metals were produced than the gold itself, or the idea of ming gold in space. Michio Kaku is excited about the new triangulated gravity wave telescopes. With these, astronomers can see the history of the universe.

Still, Michio Kaku's interviewer seems more excited about quantities of gold and platinum that could be found in space. It seems doubtful that she would be alone in this interest.

Many science fiction films have explored the possibility of mining gold on other planets. Could gold mining in space be a cost-effective possibility in the future?

Curiosity rover on Mars, will there be a gold mine on mars someday?
Curiosity rover - Will there be a Gold Mine on Mars someday? [Image by Vadim Sadovski/NASA/Shutterstock]

While Michio Kaku seems less than excited about gold mining in space, Deltion Innovations Ltd CEO Dale Boucher is taking the idea of mining gold on other planets seriously. Dale Boucher told Space.com, not only will gold mining in space be profitable in the future but the companies that sell supplies and other support to the mining operations will also profit.

"The supply chain has a real place in terrestrial mining, and I'm suggesting that it also has a real place in off-planet mining. During the gold rush, if you're going to be in the supply chain, you don't want to be doing the actual mining. What you want to be doing is selling the 50 pounds of flour and 10 pounds of baking grease to the guys who are going up there and struggling and looking for gold."
When Neutron stars collide they make gold
When Neutron stars like this one collide they produce gold [Image by Jurik Peter/Shutterstock]

Michio Kaku says there's enough gold shot into space from just one neutron star collision to make up 10 spheres the size of earth. Thinking in the same vein, Planetary Resources CEO Chris Lewicki told Space.com he believes gold mining in space will be easy on other planets, at least at first.

"I would love to be the first gold miner in Sutter's Mill [in California] and in the Yukon [in Canada], where gold mining [consisted of] walking up the street and picking up the shiny things, and what people don't realize is that space resources will, in a sense, start from a base that is very similar to that."


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Could mining gold in space pay off the national debt, put the world's currencies back on the gold standard, or be used to fund renewable energy in the future? Right now the space travel would be too expensive, as Michio Kaku probably knows, but those costs are dropping since private industry has gotten involved.

Once the cost gold mining in space is feasible however many companies will be involved in the supply chain of gold mining in space say the experts.

Michio Kaku says gold and platinum come from space, so could gold mining in space one day bring in the mother lode?

[Featured Image by Evan Agostini AP And Happymore Shutterstock]