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Children of the stars

We are made of star dust. The iron in our blood, the oxygen we breathe, the calcium in our bones, all the atoms of which we are made of were created within the stars billions of years ago, just like every other element on our planet. Therefore we can say that we are literally children of the stars. Let’s analyse the motivations.
The larger the stars are, the greater their ability to create complex elements. We can imagine an evolved star to be like a gigantic onion, made up of many concentric shells where nuclear fusion creates increasingly complex elements as they get closer to the centre: a real material factory. When these stars die, these atoms that have been produced are scattered in the interstellar space through supernova explosions, where they join with “fresh” atoms to go through a powerful recycling system and begin new star formation cycles. Therefore the violent end of a star contributes to the birth of other stars and planets, that will carry their ancestor’s mark in their composition. In fact, astronomers have confirmed that young stars contain more complex elements than the older ones.
Except for hydrogen, helium, its closest relative, and a sprinkle of lithium, all other elements that we have in the universe were created by this process known as stellar nuclear synthesis.

With the sponsorship of the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research
 
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