Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Wish on an Exploding Star

If you wish on an exploding star, do you wishes explode too? Or do your wishes multiply?

A star is quite a fascinating phenomenon. It is a conflagration of interstellar gas and dust, which all collapses into a massive (or tiny, depending on your perspective) ball and starts releasing massive (or tiny) amounts of energy by way nuclear fusion reactions. Hydrogen fuses together in the star's core and forms helium (or He, which is also a pronoun and, when multiplied, an indication of virtual laughter).

The heat and carbon increase continually, until the helium nuclei produce carbon nuclei, and as the heat and temperature continue to increase, other elements are created, until the star consists of layers of seething, fusing, burning elements (which sounds terrifying, to be honest). Eventually, the star creates iron. The iron ignites and burns through all the remaining fuel within the star.

Then the layers collapse into the star at 1/4 the speed of light. The outer shells explode, flying outward into the deep, dark universe, brighter than the billions of stars, brighter than its whole galaxy. Within the star the heat and the elements combine and intersect, and build more and more elements, until the star has birthed all of the ingredients necessary for life. The supernova explodes and spits the elements of life outwards into the vacuum of space, where they dance and mingle with the elements that are already floating about.

Happy birthday to us.

So that's why I wish on exploding stars. Because then my wishes come true--and then some.

If you're curious, read more about supernovas.

I am also including the Periodic Table, so you can see all of the exploding star's babies.

1 comment:

  1. the pictures on the supernovas page are awesome.