by Remy Melina
Life's Little Mysteries Staff Writer
The remains of a once-explosive supernova illuminate part
of a nearby galaxy in this image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
The theory that everyone and everything
on Earth contains minuscule star particles dates back further than
Moby's popular 2002 song "We Are All Made of Stars."
On the show, Sagan thoroughly explained many science-related topics, including Earth's history, evolution, the origin of life and the solar system.
His statement sums up the fact that the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms in our bodies, as well as atoms of all other heavy elements, were created in previous generations of stars over 4.5 billion years ago.
Because humans and every other animal - as well as most of the matter on Earth - contain these elements, we are literally made of star stuff, said Chris Impey, professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona.
How star stuff got to
Such a stellar explosion throws a large
cloud of dust and gas into space, with the amount and composition of
the material expelled varying depending on the type of supernova.
The oldest stars almost exclusively consisted of hydrogen and helium, with oxygen and the rest of the heavy elements in the universe later coming from supernova explosions, according to "Cosmic Collisions: The Hubble Atlas of Merging Galaxies," (Springer, 2009).
More recently, Symphony of Science, an artistic project headed by John Boswell and designed to deliver scientific knowledge though musical remixes, released "We Are All Connected."
The song features clip of Sagan's "We're made of star stuff" proclamation, created into a song with software program Auto-Tune.