I didn’t make this video but it illustrates a point I talk about below. It does it in a pretty trippy way by making these interviews into a song and autotune the responses.

Last year when I was sitting in my graduate-level Environmental Chemistry class my mind got blown away by a realization. I’ve always heard about ‘stardust’ and other things of that nature and I didn’t pay much thought to it, but put it in the realm of unicorns and lyrics from70’s or 80’s music. But that class brought a whole new meaning to it and this video touches on that realization I had that day. I say I had a realization in the sense that I learned something new.

We are composed of atoms from dead stars that exploded a long time ago. We could not exist if these stars did not shrink, burn up, and die! Think about it for a second. We are made of stars that died and exploded, and are only in existence because of those events. It’s hard not to share something like this. I know when I found out about it I immediately told several people, and thought ‘how did I not know this already?’

I couldn’t find my notes from this class (so feel free to correct me in the comment section below, even if you think the Earth is only 4,000 years old), but essentially this is what happened:

After the big bang there was only Hydrogen in the universe and all other elements, like what we’re made of, were created from Hydrogen. That happened from a star burning Hydrogen for a long time (understatement), and as it ran out of Hydrogen the star began to shrink, it also became hotter with it’s smaller mass. As it became hotter it excited elements to the point where it formed Helium which would only be able to be formed at this high heat and pressure (nuclear fusion), and the star would burn Helium, until it ran out again and the process would continue burning up an element, the star shrinking, thus increasing the heat and pressure to create new elements, until it would turn into a supernova and die, exploding these new elements all over the universe, to eventually form us, and everything we know. It’s called stellar nucleosynthesis.

That is at least a super simple version that I can remember without my class notes from 2 years ago. Here is a link to NASA explaining it a bit:

http://nasascience.nasa.gov/big-questions/when-and-how-did-the-elements-of-life-in-the-universe-arise

and other smart people:

http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=37551

http://www.bautforum.com/archive/index.php/t-34911.html

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