But do you ever stop and think that everything around you has once been inside a star?
Stars generate energy through the process of fusion, this is, the joining of two atoms with the release of energy. Initially, the mass of the star is mostly constituted of Hydrogen:
Pressure nearer to the core of the star might even start forcing Helium to fuse with itself or other things, creating heavier elements. Eventually, and as hydrogen becomes scarce as a fuel source, elements will combine to form heavier stuff, such as the all important (for life) carbon atoms, oxygen, silicon, iron.
Once a star runs out of things to fuse together to produce energy, many things can happen, depending mostly on the size of the stars, but most will go out with a bang. Stars with the size of our sun will swell up to a red giant and then expel the outer layers, which will form a small nebula, leaving a small dense core called a white dwarf floating around.
More massive stars will be a lot more violent when dying, creating a supernova, the most energetic explosion man has ever witnessed, scattering these elements all over the place where they can gather together as part of a planetary disk for a future star.
|You don't want to be around when this happens|
So next time you look at a chair and say "it's just a chair", remember, it came from a dying star.
Trivia of the day:
An action will create an equal, opposite reaction (third law of Newton)