Researchers think they have a good idea of what happens inside the sun. Hydrogen, the lightest element and the sun’s primary constituent, fuses to become helium, releasing energy. Eventually, long after humanity has gone extinct or evolved into some other form, Sol’s hydrogen will be consumed. Then the helium will begin to fuse into medium-weight elements. An eon after that, the medium-weight elements will begin to fuse into metals. Ultimately Sol will explode, scattering heavy elements into the cosmos. It’s thought that all the heavy elements of the universe were forged within stars that later exploded, supernovas having been more common when the firmament was young. The Earth, your body—both are composed of elements made inside ancient stars that exploded.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
We Are Stardust, We Are Golden, We Are Doomed
Gregg Easterbrook on the material word's be all and end all: