We Are Made of Star Stuff

Topics: Hydrogen, Carbon, Oxygen Pages: 4 (1454 words) Published: November 28, 2012
We are “star stuff”. Discuss in detail our connections to the stars as established by modern astronomy. Modern astronomy has allowed us to understand how the universe functions and also provides the answers to some of the big questions. Questions like the origin of the universe and origin of life itself. It tells us that stars are the cosmic furnaces where all most all the building blocks of life and planets were synthesized. Lighter, basic and abundant elements like hydrogen and helium were formed during the Big Bang. During Big Bang, space expansion cooled the early energy dominated universe and a lot of energy transformed into matter. These basic elements were then able to create the early stars and also the stars of today. Inside of these stars lighter elements fused to release large quantities of energy and in the process of doing that converted hydrogen and helium into heavier elementary particles. Such elements would be deposited in the core of the star and are spewed out into surrounding interstellar space when the star dies an explosive death. These newly synthesized heavy elements are essential for life to begin and evolve.1 Hydrogen, helium and a little bit of lithium were made in the Big Bang. Hydrogen, the most abundant element accounted for around 75% of the matter, followed by helium at 25%.2 Large quantity of these primordial gas formed clouds and such clouds were then condensed by local gravity to form the very first stars that lit up the dark skies of early universe.3 As the baby stars contracted, temperature in the core rose to extreme level triggering nuclear fusion/hydrogen fusion. Nuclear fusion is a process in which two or more atoms fuse to synthesize heavier atom and this process of fusing releases large quantities of energy.4 All the ingredients/elements needed to make the earth and all life forms on earth were created in the cores of stars.5 These ingredients are then released out of the core of star into the...
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