*STAR DUST: We Are All Made of Star Dust! See, YOU Really Are SPECIAL!*

by on March 7th, 2015
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This is a journey and an adventure. A journey through time, and the adventure is the adventure of your life! By the time you finish this article you will see it is an absolute fact, You are without a doubt, SPECIAL!

As amazing as it may sound, we are all made of stardust! Actually I kind of like that idea! It makes me feel good, (even on the verge of warm fuzzies and goose bumps), to know that we are made of the same stuff that those pretty, shiny things up in night sky are made of. :~)

What is a star? Our prime example is our sun, the big yellow dazzling ball of gas up there 93 million miles away. Do you remember a night when you looked up at the sky in awe? Almost all of the lights you saw were stars. Some were very distant galaxies, (galaxies are collections of stars, even up to hundreds of billions of them all in one spot), and some of the lights were other things too, like big clouds of gas and dust, (these are called nebula), reflecting star light, and some might even have been far away stars exploding at the end of their lives!

Stars are marvelous things. They start out as a big cloud of mostly hydrogen gas, a little helium gas, and some other elements the size of specks of dust or smaller. As gravity pulls the cloud together it starts to whirl and swirl like a spinning top. As the gas compresses the temperate and pressure at the center of it increase until it gets to the point where there is a huge, brilliant flash of light and nuclear fusion starts up. Nuclear fusion is the start of the process that makes the star dust YOU are made of. Click here to learn more about Nuclear Fusion

YOUR PERSONAL JOURNEY THROUGH TIME:
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Your personal journey started the very second in time that you were conceived in your mother’s womb. At that point you were just one cell about the size of a period at the end of a sentence! But the most important thing was that YOU had all the genetic coding, (in your DNA), to instruct your one cell to create the entire body you have now, made out of tens of trillions of cells! And to make you even more Special, your DNA is unique! You have probably heard you are the only one in the world with your fingerprints! That’s unless you happen to be an identical twin. If that is the case congratulations, because that is very Special too! Click’>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA”>Click here to learn more about DNA

Your DNA said to you, go find, get and bring to me: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus because 99% of the mass of the human body is made from these 6 elements. It also said, go get me zinc, copper and a number of other trace elements needed to give you steady growth and lifelong good health. Those elements and all the others YOU will ever need were available, having been made in stars millions of years ago. And then the elements were blown into star dust just waiting for you to show up and ask for them to make and maintain the One and Only You!

THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE and YOUR STAR DUST:
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What are YOU and everything you have or ever will see, touch, taste or smell made of? The answer is atoms. Atoms and molecules. Molecules are what you get when two or more atoms come and stay together. Atoms are composed of a center part, the nucleus, which has the protons in it and electrons which circle around the nucleus. Atoms are very small and it takes very powerful microscopes to see them. Click’>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom”>Click here to learn more about Atoms.

Now, lets take a journey together back in time to about 14 billion years ago! It will be brief, so you don’t need to pack a lunch! :~) Astronomers believe that at the big bang, ( about 14 billion years ago, the origin of the whole universe), most of the hydrogen there is came into existence, as well as some of the helium. There were no elements heavier than those two at that time. Just Hydrogen, (with one proton at it’s nucleus center), and Helium, (with 2 protons at it’s nucleus center)

All of the other elements, (with more than 2 protons in the nucleus center), where made after the big bang and they were made in the center of stars using nuclear fusion to put the heavier elements, (more than 2 protons in the nucleus center), together by fusing, (pushing together), lighter elements into heavier ones. Sort of a building block, or Lego approach by using the smaller pieces to make the exact bigger pieces, (elements), you and your genetic code so marvelously determined would make the Perfect You!

Hydrogen is the number one element and is composed of one proton in the middle, ( nucleus), and one electron circling around the nucleus. The proton is of a positive electrical charge, and the electron is negative. The electrical attraction is what keeps the electron circling around the middle. Proving the old adage that opposites really do attract! :~) We are all familiar with and love electrons, we use them everyday. Electricity is nothing more than the flow, (current) of electrons. But Wow! Look at all that this electron flow has done for YOU all your life!

The periodic table of the elements lists all 92 naturally occurring elements in the universe and also some man made ones. They all were produced from fusing more protons into the nucleus of an atom. Here’>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table”>Here is a link to an online periodic table. You will see all the elements, (atoms), that YOU are made up of listed there. The number of an element is it’s number of protons in the nucleus center, and also it’s number on the chart, like hydrogen is #1. Here are the elements listed by name, so if you want to you can check out your favorite types of star dust that make up You!The’>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_chemical_elements”>The chemical elements listed by name.

OUR SUN AND OTHER STARS:
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Our sun is an enormous, very hot place! It is over 27 million degrees at the center, and you could fit over 1 million earths inside of it! But compared to some other stars it is cool and even small! There are some stars out there that are hundreds of times bigger than our sun and they burn hotter too. Of course our sun is just right for us here on earth. We have all enjoyed feeling it’s warmth on our faces, and enjoy seeing it bring the hope of a bright new day! In technical terms, it is referred to as a yellow dwarf. But of course, it will always be a Yello Giant to us!

How do stars die? Stars end their lives in different ways depending on things such as how big they are. Some turn into black holes, some neutron stars and some in Supernovas! Supernovas are gargantuan, spectacular explosions equal to millions, (or billions, or even trillions), of atomic bombs going off all at once! When a star goes supernova it blasts all those elements it was making into star dust all around that corner of the universe. Click’>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Nova”>Click here to learn more about Supernovas

Astronomers believe that about 4.5 billion years ago, in this corner of the universe, there was an enormously gigantic sun that exploded in a supernova. After the explosion the big cloud of hydrogen and helium and star dust it created pulled together due to gravity. Then it started the process of creating our Solar system. The sun and planets and supply of star dust on earth that the one celled YOU, when you started your adventure of life, would be asking for to grow from one cell to trillions came from that gigantic explosion about 4.5 billion years ago! See, YOU really did start off with a Bang!

So you see, YOU really are made of Star Dust! We may not all be able to go to Hollywood and become stars, but we most certainly are made of Star Dust! :~)

So go ahead and dare to feel even better about your self! YOU are Special! It took a Huge star and an explosion brighter than the noon day’s sun to bring YOU to life on earth!

Here is a List of Links for the Terms that are mentioned above:
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1. Starshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star”>Stars>
2. Nebulahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebula”>Nebula>
3. Galaxyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxy”>Galaxy>
4. Nuclear’>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fusion”>Nuclear Fusion
5. DNAhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA”>DNA>
6. Periodic’>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table”>Periodic Table of the Elements
7. List’>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_chemical_elements”>List of Elements by name
8. Supernovahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Nova”>Supernova>
9. Atomshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom”>Atoms>
10. Astronomyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomy”>Astronomy>
11. Elementary’>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemistry”>Elementary Chemistry
12. Our’>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_System”>Our Solar System

Thank you very much! I hope you enjoyed our Journey together! Science Dave (aka Dave Briggs)


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