“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 starstuff.” ~Carl Sagan, Star Stuff
Have you ever felt as though some part of you was not from our galaxy, that somehow you had a physical connection with the cosmos?
Source: Walking Time Author Buck Rogers
A dramatic new study into the origins of galaxies simulated the process by which galaxies are formed and when stars within them explode. The finding offer strong evidence that nearly half of the atoms found in the Milky Way are made from residual particles ejected when far away galaxies go supernova and explode. This includes half of the atoms that make up the human body.
Carried by intergalactic winds after a galaxy’s death, many of these ejected particles travel to our solar system from neighboring galaxies, eventually congregating to amass concentrations of the building blocks of atoms. The bulk of the helium and hydrogen that makes it to a new galaxy forms new stars, while other more dense elements combine to create objects like asteroids, comets, planets and life forms.
Powerful supernova explosions can fling trillions of tonnes of atoms into space with such ferocity that they escape their home galaxy’s gravitational pull and fall towards larger neighbours in enormous clouds that travel at hundreds of kilometres per second. [Source]
The following computer simulation demonstrates our new understanding of the formation process of galaxies:
These ejected elements are believed to be able to travel nearly a million light years away from their origin before finally settling in new galaxies, as noted by a report in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
“The surprising thing is that galactic winds contribute significantly more material than we thought “In terms of research in galaxy evolution, we’re very excited about these results. It’s a new mode of galaxy growth we’ve not considered before.” ~Daniel Anglés-Alcázar,, an astronomer at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois
Using dramatic 3D models of how galaxies are born and then die, showing how a significant portion of the material which comprises new galaxies is gathered from left over material that has arrived from other galaxies. In our previous understanding of how the Milky Way was formed, scientists had believed that most of the matter here was contributed by the Big Bang.
The Big Bang theory has been popular among astronomers and physicists since the revelations of Albert Einstein, but in recent years has been under intense scrutiny with some claiming that it may be completely wrong. With this new simulation, the Big Bang theory moves closer to extinction.
“Our origins are much less local than we thought, This study gives us a sense of how things around us are connected to distant objects in the sky.” ~Claude-André Faucher-Giguère
Another recent experiment offers the theory that the universe itself may actually be a conscious organism, and that all matter within it is permeated with a consciousness of its own. Combined with the recent discoveries about the origins of star-dust, we may be on the brink of a major breakthrough in understanding our place in the cosmos.
The following video is a simulation of gas flows of a Milky Way type galaxy: