Sagan we are made of star stuff
Cosmos Quotes by Carl Sagan
Are We Really All Made of Stars?
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Carl Sagan famously said that the death of ancient stars helped to create us. Here's a quick primer on what he meant. Back in , the late Carl Sagan blew minds with the deep thought that those very minds are made from the remnants of blown-up stars. But what the heck does that actually mean? Like everything else in astronomy, it has the effect of making me feel small and insignificant Just in time for Sagan's birthday on November 9, the American Association of Chemistry Teachers AACT and author Sam Kean teamed up to produce the below video to shed a little light on Sagan's iconic turn of phrase and what it really means. Rather than the flecks of dead and discarded matter tossed off of a star that I envisioned, Kean explains that we are really the final result of a rather remarkable chain of events and chemical reactions that began in the hearts of ancient stars burning bright and eventually created all the elements that came together to form the Earth and everything that inhabits it.
It is well known that most of the essential elements of life are truly made in the stars. Astronomers have now measured of all of the CHNOPS elements in , stars across the Milky Way, the first time such a large number of stars have been analyzed for these elements. This instrument looks in the near-infrared to reveal signatures of different elements in the atmospheres of stars. Stars are mostly hydrogen, but small amounts of heavier elements such as oxygen can be detected in the spectra of stars. Stars in the inner galaxy are also older, so this means more of the elements of life were synthesized earlier in the inner parts of the galaxy than in the outer parts. Holtzman added it is likely that, if there is a minimum required abundance, that minimum was probably reached earlier in the inner parts of the Galaxy than where we are. The catalog is available at the SDSS website , so take a look for yourself at the chemical abundances in our portion of the galaxy.
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The theory that everyone and everything on Earth contains minuscule star particles dates back further than Moby's popular song "We Are All Made of Stars. In the early s, astronomer Carl Sagan hosted and narrated a part television series called "Cosmos" that aired on PBS. On the show, Sagan thoroughly explained many science-related topics, including Earth's history, evolution, the origin of life and the solar system. 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," Sagan famously stated in one episode.