Where the material comes from – the big picture

Source: NASA

Much has changed since my high school, where the periodic table of elements was hung on the wall next to the blackboard.

The plain white poster was originally designed to show the atomic weight (allowing for my faulty memory), whether an element was metal or not, reactive or not, a noble gas or a stable isotope.

NASA has updated some of the miraculous tables to see where each element comes from in the cosmos. I find it amazing we know this.

Here is a description of NASA:

The hydrogen in your body, present in every molecule of water, comes from the Big Bang. There is no other admirable source of hydrogen in the universe. The carbon stars in your body were created by the combination of atoms inside, just as there was oxygen. Most of the iron in your body was created long ago and during the supernovae of stars that happened far away. The gold in your jewelry was probably made up of neutron stars during collisions that could be visible as short-term gamma-ray bursts or the occurrence of gravitational waves. Elements such as phosphorus and copper are present in small amounts in our bodies but are essential for the functioning of all known life forms. The featured periodic table is color coded to indicate humanity’s best guess about the atomic origin of all known elements. Sites of atomic creation of some elements, such as copper, are not really well known, and observational and computational research topics continue.

Pretty amazing. . .

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