We Are Star Stuff

In a graphic representation of Carl Sagan’s famous quote:

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

Wikimedia contributor and illustrator Cmglee created this wonderful graphic representation of those words for the Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Nucleosynthesis_Cmglee_1080

 

Where Your Elements Came From 
Image Credit: Cmglee (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL, via Wikimedia CommonsExplanation: The hydrogen in your body, present in every molecule of water, came from the Big Bang. There are no other appreciable sources of hydrogen in the universe. The carbon in your body was made by nuclear fusion in the interior of stars, as was the oxygen. Much of the iron in your body was made during supernovas of stars that occurred long ago and far away. The gold in your jewelry was likely made from neutron stars during collisions that may have been visible as short-duration gamma-ray bursts. Elements like phosphorus and copper are present in our bodies in only small amounts but are essential to the functioning of all known life. The featured periodic table is color coded to indicate humanity‘s best guess as to the nuclear origin of all known elements. The sites of nuclear creation of some elements, such as copper, are not really well known and are continuing topics of observational and computational research.

 

And, if that’s not entertaining enough for my fellow nerds, here’s a rabbit hole of periodic table images and better humor through chemistry:

About Stan Flouride

THIS BLOG IS ALWAYS AD-FREE I make stuff and do things.
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