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Thread: Cosmic Recycling

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    http://hubblesite.org/newscen....a

    This nebula is a supernova remnant (Cassiopeia A), an expanding shell of hot gas left behind when a star exploded about 340 years ago.

    Every chemical element in the universe (other than hydrogen, most of the helium, and traces of lithium) had its origin in the core of a star.

    As these stars die, they recycle their mass, enriched with more complex elements, into the universe, where they will eventually coalesce into another star system with planets and possibly, life.



    You are made of stardust, the legacy of generations of supernovae over billions of years. The beating of your heart and the cycles of stellar life and death are intimately linked.

    Billions of years hence, you will return, the atoms of your body incorporated into another star, planetary system, perhaps some sentient being. And that being will owe the carbon in its body to you, and to the stars that came before you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]an expanding shell of hot gas left behind when a star exploded about 340 years ago.
    I think this should be 340 million years ago, right?

    At any rate, that is one severely cool pic!
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    No, 340 years ago.

    Supernova remnants dissipate on the order of thousands to tens of thousands of years. They are moving and diluting themselves very rapidly.

    Another example, the Crab Nebula (M1):

    http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/new...eases/2005/37/

    This nebula resulted from a supernova recorded in 1054 AD. (Note that it is 6000 light-years away, so the actual supernova occurred 6000 years before that; it just took the light that long to get to us.)
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    A clarification:

    Cas A is about 10,000 lightyears away. The remnant, as it appears to us, is about 340 years old (based on measurements of its current extent and rate of expansion). This means the actual event occurred some 10,340 years ago.
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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    it reminds me of that moby song "We are all Made of Stars" it's kind of nice, you know that even if there isn't an afterlife then one day our star will die and the earth will cease to be and our atoms and the atoms of everything that ever lived/existed will go out and form new things.

    it's like some Final Fantasy game

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (JustLikeAPill @ Aug. 29 2006,6:44)]it reminds me of that moby song "We are all Made of Stars" it's kind of nice, you know that even if there isn't an afterlife then one day our star will die and the earth will cease to be and our atoms and the atoms of everything that ever lived/existed will go out and form new things.

    it's like some Final Fantasy game
    A bit like the story Little Wave and Old Swell.

    You are a part of something greater, the ongoing evolution of the Cosmos, of which life on Earth itself is only a part.

    Some people don't get why physics, for me, fills the role that religion does for many others. This is why it does.
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (SarraceniaScott @ Aug. 29 2006,5:30)]A clarification:

    Cas A is about 10,000 lightyears away. The remnant, as it appears to us, is about 340 years old (based on measurements of its current extent and rate of expansion). This means the actual event occurred some 10,340 years ago.
    Well, technically they're both right; or both wrong. From a cosmological perspective you can't really assign an absolute date to anything outside our past light cone without also defining a frame of reference. I prefer to refer to the date of any astronomical occurence as when the light actually reached us if a reference frame is not explicitly stated.




    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]This nebula is a supernova remnant (Cassiopeia A), an expanding shell of hot gas left behind when a star exploded about 340 years ago...And that being will owe the carbon in its body to you, and to the stars that came before you.
    Awesome post. Very well said.

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    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (SarraceniaScott @ Aug. 29 2006,12:18)]...expanding shell of hot gas...
    So this is how a politician starts out. I think I like them better this way rather than after they have cooled into someone full of hot air.
    ---Steve Allinger---

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