Did you know that we are made of stardust? As fanciful as this sounds, there’s actually a lot of credence to the claim, and it’s backed up with science! So how is it that we are made of stardust?
It all comes down to the Big Bang, the very beginning of the universe and all of the galaxies, stars, planets, moons, comets and, well everything in it. It isn’t too hard to see that everything in the universe would have had a similar origin, even us humans. It’s because every element that is on our rock, Earth, was formed in the heart of a star, like our sun.
It’s easy in our busy lives today to forget about the wider universe. It’s full of wonder and beauty. How many of us actually look at the stars? When I say look, I mean appreciate their beauty and wonder about them. Gazing for hours on end at their beauty. While we look upon them we see a little glistening dot of light, but the reality is that they are a massive ball of fire, a continuous nuclear fusion reaction that has been going on for millions of years. It’s these very reactions that create the elements of the universe. The elements that make up every part of out bodies.
How are we made of stardust?
Now we delve into chemistry a little. When stars form they do so by small particles of hydrogen and helium binding together. Over time these form into larger clouds, and with gravity they become denser. This will continue as the sun builds in size and mass.
The nuclear reactions that take place are complex. Initially hydrogen is converted to helium. The helium is then converted to beryllium and carbon when the hydrogen has been completely depleted. This process will continue until the sun reaches iron. But that obviously leaves us a lot of elements short to say that we are made of stardust.
Stars just don’t die when they turn to iron. They will go supernova. A massive star will go supernova when they have reached the end of their life. When it goes supernove it will release a lot of high energy, which also creates the other heavier elements. The elements are distributed though the universe with the massive explosion. This stardust goes on to create planets just like Earth.