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Star stuff within us – we are stardust

• “We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon” — Woodstock by Joni Mitchell as performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

• > “Are we really made of ‘star stuff’ and what does that even mean? (video)” by Robert Lea (August 21, 2023) – These inspiring words from Carl Sagan apply to all life forms, not just us.

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” – Carl Sagan

With this sentiment, Sagan, who passed away in 1996 at the age of 62, was talking about the cosmic origins of humanity.

And in a new video from the European Southern Observatory (ESO), part of the Chasing Starlight series, astrophysicist Suzanna Randall explains what this statement means and how it relates to the elements that comprise our bodies.

As the astrophysicist points out, however, we maybe shouldn’t let this go to our heads too much. As an ego-cleanser, Randall concludes by adding: “Before you get too excited, cockroaches are also made up of star stuff.”

• YouTube > European Southern Observatory > “Are you made of starstuff?” (Aug 4, 2023)

The building blocks of life were created by stars, which fuse atoms, creating heavier and heavier elements. When most massive stars explode as supernovae these elements are dispersed into space, enriching the surrounding gas, which in turn can form new stars and possibly planets.