Saturday, May 4, 2013

Where did we come from?

Where did we come from? Some still believe that it was by the wave of a godly wand 6000 years ago. Please, catch up already!

In 1054 AD, Chinese astronomers observed and recorded a celestial event in the form of a great flash of light in the Taurus constellation, what we now understand to be the explosion of a supernova 6,500 light-years from Earth which has since become the Crab Nebula (M1/NGC1952) some 11 light-years across.

What has this to do with our origin? When the Universe was formed 13.7 billion years ago, there was nothing but hydrogen (75%) and helium (25%). But today, we breathe in nitrogen and oxygen, exhale carbon dioxide, take calcium pills, make tools out of iron, self-adorn with gold, and fire off ICBMs containing uranium. So, where did these heavier elements come from?

In a single word: NUCLEOSYNTHESIS.

Our sun is basically a sphere with a helium core and a hydrogen shell. Massive as it is, the sun is but a small yellowish star out of the 300 billion stars in our Milky Way Galaxy which in turn is but one out of 100 billion galaxies in the Universe. The star that exploded in 1054 AD, which became the Crab Nebula, was a super-massive blue star, one with an iron core, and shells (from centre to periphery) of nickel, sulphur, silicon, magnesium, neon, oxygen, carbon, helium and hydrogen, with the heavier elements fused from the lighter elements. The fusing of elements heavier than helium requires enormous pressures, of which our sun is incapable. Once an iron core is formed in a super-massive blue star, the star would explode as a supernova, and the extra pressure in the explosion would spontaneously fuse the even heavier elements.

Eventually, when the heavy-elements-laden interstellar clouds, such as those inside the Crab Nebula, gravitationally collapse into new stars, these new stars would spin their heavy atoms out into a disc, which would condense into their planetary systems. Thus our planet Earth of the Solar System, formed 4.6 billion years ago, of which we are an integral part.

Once the Earth was formed, INTEGRATIVE TRANSCENDENCE (see Anthony Marr's book OMNI-SCIENCE and the Human Destiny) and EVOLUTION (see Charles Darwin's book Origin of Species) have brought about the rise of life on Earth, including our own species, to this day.

Let's hope we don't foolishly destroy it within the next century.

Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)

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