Kepler's Supernova, from Wikimedia Commons
We are all made of stardust
I am still mulling over the things we learned and the things we saw at our star party at Leasburg Dam State Park last week. The instructor explained that we actually are made of stardust, because most elements on earth were created in the hearts of stars. I checked further when I got home (and once I was thawed out from our chilly evening in the dark) and found this information:
... the heaviest elements -- such as gold, lead and uranium -- were produced in a supernova explosion during the cataclysmic end of a huge star's life, says LSU physicist Edward Zganjar (pronounced Skyner).
"Those elements were ejected into space by the force of the massive explosion, where they mixed with other matter and formed new stars, some with planets such as earth. That's why the earth is rich in these heavy elements. The iron in our blood and the calcium in our bones were all forged in such stars. We are made of stardust," Zganjar said. (quote is from Science Daily, 1999.)