Children of the Cosmos

In many T.V. guides and in almost all girls weekly magazines there is always a section to do with horoscopes. What baffles me, is that people still believe that we are in some way connected in a spiritual way to the stars. The absurd things people grapple onto. What i find disheartening about these columns in magazines, is that it doesn’t reveal the true wonder of a stars connection to us. These horoscopes impose some extraordinary consequences of being born in a certain month, and being ruled under a certain star. The sad fallacy of it is, the star-signs that are used, have actually shifted from their original creation.

Star signs were generated by seeing which constellation the sun passed through on the day of your birth. However, since these first star signs were invented, the earth has shifted a bit, the moon has rocked a bit further out, and the stars are all slightly shifting to. So actually, the star sign you think you are is not correct, as the constellation has moved in the night sky. But the problem with star signs is that firstly they hold no real truth, and secondly, they do not show the real profound nature of our connection to the stars.

When I say stars, and our connection to them, I do not mean in the quasi paranormal, astrology way. What I am talking about is a hard atomical connection. And the stars I am talking about, are not stars like Beta Tauri, or other current constellations, but stars that have had their nuclear life, and have since passed and died. The reason I am going to talk about dead stars is because they are the true cosmological connection to you, not these star signs of taurus and Scorpio. SO the question your hopefully asking is, how are they?

The answer to that question is incredibly simple, and so magnificently wonderful, once you understand how it works. Neil deGrasse Tyson once said that ‘I know that the molecules in my body are traceable to phenomenon in the cosmos,’ and he was completely right, and i shall explain why. The atoms and molecules in your body are all based on three building blocks,(which i discussed in a previous post.) These three building blocks, Protons, Neutrons and Electrons combine in different amounts to produce different atoms, which create the elements. For example, carbon is 6 protons, 6 neutrons and 6 electrons, but add a couple more to make 8 of each you end up with oxygen. It is this simple mathematics of adding extra bits which give you the different elements. But to create these elements is very difficult, due to repulsion charges and the like,(briefly touched upon in another post.) So how did these heavy atoms like carbon, iron and oxygen, which are necessary for your body come into existence?

In the early days of the universe there wasn’t much out there. The most common thing, and most complex thing that there was, was hydrogen, which is the most basic atom, of one proton and one electron. Eventually, these atoms clumped together under gravity, which as you should know, when clumped together in large amounts, they ignite into a nuclear reaction and create a star. (An incredibly short description of how a star is born.) Let’s fast forward several million years into the history of the universe.

By this time those stars that were formed from the primordial gases of the universe are coming to an end. While the star has been actively alive, it has been fusing hydrogen atoms together to make helium. But now, as the hydrogen reserves are being depleted, the star starts to smash together helium atoms with hydrogen, and helium and helium, to form heavier elements(atoms) like lithium and carbon. These reactions won’t last for long either. Let’s fast forward again.

Now the star has smashed to the point of destroying itself as it starts to make the dangerous elements for stars, iron. The star continues smashing, making more and more iron, until the core of the star becomes full of iron, which absorbs so much of the stars energy, that the star is in it’s final days of life. These primordial stars were now going to do one last act in their life, supernova. This destructive power happened and still happens to super massive stars.These early massive stars in their last few seconds supernova, releasing all the elements they had created in their life.

In the supernova there is also so much more heat than the star could produce, that the energy is enough to fuse iron atoms together, and other elements to make even heavier atoms like gold and platinum. These elements are scattered into the universe. It is these new atoms which will go on to make the universe we know today.

The atoms created in those stars go on to form planets, moons and asteroids. But also, those atoms fused in the heart of stars, and made in it’s death throws, will go on to make you and I, trees and shrubs, birds and bees and the rest of life on our planet.

So it is a thanks to those stars billions of years ago, who in their death threw out all those different atoms, that we are here today. So we really are connected to the stars, just stars that had died millions of years ago. We are connected to the stars, not in trivial ways like star signs, but in the most fundamental way, they gave us the atoms for life.

And to further note, the atoms that are on Earth have not been added to, as the atoms on the planet are fixed to Earth. The atoms in the water you drink has been cycled round the planet over and over again, It has been ingested by fish, animals, plants and other people. The atoms in your body have been in countless other things, trees, rocks, birds and now you. As Richard Dawkins once said, ‘matter flows from place to place, and momentarily comes together to be you.’ in addition deGrasse Tyson remarked that we ‘are all connected, to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, and the universe atomically.’

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4 thoughts on “Children of the Cosmos

  1. I love one of the tags: Fact. Hha, I hope that was a tongue in check digg at astrology, if so…WELL DONE! 😀 I hate being followed by silly astrologers on twitter purely because I am an astrophysicist, the disciplines are not related!

    One tip, make sure your paragraphs start on a new line and justify your text…looks much neater that way! 😉

    • Hello, thank you for your comment. And yes, i try to tag as accurately as i can, even at the risk of annoying astrologists, (even if intentional.) And yes i can imagine it is quite annoying, nothing like being followed by people who have no concept at all about what it is you actually do. And i don’t even think i’d call astrology a discipline, thats like believing that pink elephants will rise on june 28th every year a discipline. But i understand for courteousness and politeness you gave it some distinction.
      And yes, i did notice the layout of my text. I wrote it on my iPad, and for some reason the App doesn’t upload it to wordpress in quite the same way. Its formatted in a more appropriate way now. Bu thank you for notifying me. And thank you for commenting. And good luck with your Degree and scientific career.

  2. Yes, I probably am too lenient on astrologers by calling it a discipline!

    And thanks, I just found out yesterday that I received a 2:1. Which is very good for a Physics degree! Haha 😀

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