You were created from an Exploding Star. We are all Stardust

You were created from an Exploding Star. We are all Stardust

Have you ever heard Moby’s popular song “We Are All Made of Stars”? If not, then do it now as latest studies have shown that it is actually true.

This concept came forward in the 1980s during the telecast of the T.V series called Cosmos. Astronomer Carl Sagan was the narrator of this show and explained different topics related to Science. One of them was, ‘The Origin of Life and the Solar System’. He declared humans as stardust in the following words.

We are a way for the universe to know itself. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff.”

All the elements that are present in this world have come from a star. The scientific logic to back this claim is known as Nucleosynthesis. According to this theory, there were tiny particles everywhere in this universe after the Big Bang. They combined to give birth to the simplest elements known to man in today’s world, Hydrogen, and Helium. Stars were formed later as clouds of gas and dust came near each other due to the gravitational pull. The temperature continued to increase alongside the density of these clouds. As a result, the cores of these young stars heated up to 10,000,000o C. This initiated the fusion process and the molecules of both these gases fused together. This merger produced heavier elements like oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen.

As there is a limit to everything, this procedure ends with the explosion of the star. This releases an immense amount of energy in the surroundings of the star which becomes an ideal place for the formation of heavy elements. This blast is also responsible for spreading the stardust in different parts of the universe. The stardust from the first stars of the universe continued to accumulate to the point where a planet like Earth became sustainable for life. All the atoms of Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon, and Iron in our bodies have come through these stars. All forms of life on Earth are dependent on these elements so we can safely assume that life was not possible without the stardust of the previous generation stars. Chris Impey, a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona, summed it up beautifully as he said,

All organic matter containing carbon was produced originally in stars. The universe was originally hydrogen and helium, the carbon was made subsequently, over billions of years.”

The explosion of stars is known as Nova. Similarly, if the star is a massive one, the explosion is named as a Supernova. According to a theory, the brightness of a supernova is at its peak few days after the initial blast. A lot of people think that the star fades away immediately after the nova but that is not true. Although it dies with the explosion, it continues to shine for some weeks. It does start to fade but the process is slow and it can take quite a lot of time. That’s the reason why scientists believe that the first stars had only Hydrogen and Helium to thrive on and these heavy elements emerged as a result of these supernova explosions.

Can you imagine a life without food or water? Does smartphone act as your Inhaler? Say Thanks to the stars as none of that could have been possible without these massive stars.

Everything that we have around us is made from the elements that came from an exploding star. The amount of heat at these stars provide a suitable environment for the collision of atoms. As a result, new elements are formed that are spread to the far-flung areas of the universe when the star explodes. Impey verified this theory and said,

It’s a well-tested theory. We know that stars make heavy elements, and late in their lives, they eject gas into the medium between stars so it can be part of subsequent stars and planets (and people).

Scientists have explained some other ways as well for the formation of new elements. One of them is ‘stellar smash-ups’. This name is given to a concept where two dying stars collide with each other and produces heavy elements like gold.

Computer Scientist by qualification who loves to read, write, eat, and travel

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