The possibility of being literally made up of "star dust" is one of the most scientifically poetic ideas ever cultivated. Through the centuries more than one voice warned this sidereal constitution in the human being: “Be humble because you are made of earth. Be noble because you are made of stars, ”says an old Serbian proverb. At the beginning of the 20th century Aleister Crowley promoted the idea that “every man and every woman is a star”, while in the near future, the rockstar of the cosmos, Carl Sagan, warned: “The cosmos is also within us. We are made of the same substance as the stars. ”
While for decades science had already hinted at the truth of this idea, in 2010 an astronomy professor at the University of Arizona, Chris Impey, was categorical in confirming that all organic matter containing carbon was originally produced in the stars. The oldest canvas in the universe was mainly made up of helium and hydrogen, while the rest of the components were created, and disseminated, via supernova explosions - and so this star dust would reach Earth. All heavy atoms, including oxygen, nitrogen and carbon, that is, a good part of our raw material, were created by an earlier generation of stars, dormant about 4.5 billion years ago.
We are almost completely stardust
A recent analysis of the information obtained through the Sloan Digital Sky Survey exploration program managed to locate, in 150 thousand stars within the Milky Way, the elements that serve as raw material for life on Earth (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur). This resulted in the conclusion that 97% of the mass of the human body is made up of matter from the stars.
“For the first time we can study the distribution of elements throughout the galaxy. The elements we measure include the atoms that make up 97% of the human body's mass, ”he said in a press release from the SDSS Sten Hasselquist of the State University of New Mexico.
How does it feel to be made of stars?
The possibility of intimacy in the deepest of the planes, the constitution itself, with beings that we generally perceive as distant and impersonal as the stars, has important implications in the way in which we self-conceive, as well as in the way in which we understand Our relationship with the cosmos. The cultural precept that everything that "is out there", beginning with nature, exists apart from me, seems to collapse, even rationally, if we consider that we are literally constituted of astral matter.
Caress the cosmos
Taking the reflexive game a few steps further, we can suggest that when we feel someone we are caressing the cosmos, and that looking at the mirror there is much more in this reflection than we think. In addition, and from the hand of another premise of Sagan that says "We are star dust that thinks about the stars", we come to the possibility that we are self-enjoying stars, or we can even court the idea that contemplating the stars is an exercise of introspection - which, by the way, makes our existence even more suggestive.
Author's Twitter: @ParadoxeParadis