The Universe is made of stories

Nearly all of the atoms in your body were once cooked in the nuclear furnace of an ancient supernova. – Frances Collins

The story of our atoms began in the stars. As the universe expanded after the Big Bang, atoms of hydrogen and helium were formed first. These atoms gathered together in galaxies where they came in handy as fuel for burning stars. When stars died (in supernova explosions) new atoms were sent out into the universe – including carbon and oxygen atoms, happily for us. By and by, over eight billion years, planets were formed and Earth’s story unfolds from there.

Photo (NASA Images): Remnant of a star that exploded in a supernova long ago. This ring of gas is enriched with oxygen that was created by the star.

The /Xam San people of Southern Africa knew that humans were related to the stars in a mysterious way. The /Xan suffered a slow genocide to extinction in the 1800s but their words remain. Their stories say that stars are closely connected to the human heart and fall down when people’s hearts ‘fall over’.

“The stars know the time at which we die.” –Díä!kwain, 1876

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