Well known astronomer Carl Sagan once said “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff.”
Turns out he was pretty much on the money.
According to the recent results of a computer simulation, the atoms that make up our human bodies not only came from the core of a star, but from a star that did not originate in our galaxy, rather was from a distant galaxy beyond our reach.
According to scientists, large galaxies like The Milky Way actually amass alot of their matter from ‘neighbouring’ star clusters from distances up to 1 million miles away.
“We did not realise how much of the mass in today’s Milky Way-like galaxies was actually ‘stolen’ from the winds of other galaxies,” said study co-author Claude-Andre Faucher-Giguere.
These particles once originated in supernovae, sent flying at incredible speeds through the cosmos by galactic winds – streams of charged up particles which are powered by these massive explosions.
It was initially believed that these winds were not strong enough to send large amounts of matter across the massive distances between neighbouring galaxies, however it seems that those forces are actually much stronger than anyone realised.
While they are hurtling through the galaxy at impressive speeds, the transfer of matter between galaxies is a patient man’s game, with the process taking anywhere between a few hundred million years and 2 billion years.
And yet – here we are, made of stardust.