Atoms Within Our Bodies Still Release the Energy of an Ancient Supernova

Explosions are seldom one hundred per cent efficient. When a star ends as a supernova, the nuclear explosive material, which includes uranium and plutonium together with large amounts of iron and other burnt-out elements, is distributed around and scattered in space just as is the dust cloud from a hydrogen bomb test. Perhaps the strangest fact of all about our planet is that it consists largely of lumps of fall-out from a star-sized hydrogen bomb. Even today, aeons later, there is still enough of the unstable explosive material remaining in the Earth's crust to enable the reconstitution on a minute scale of the original event.

Binary, or double, star systems are quite common in our galaxy, and it may be that at one time our sun, that quiet well-behaved body, had a large companion which rapidly consumed its store of hydrogen and ended as a supernova. Or it may be that the debris of a nearby supernova explosion mingled with the swirl of interstellar dust and gases from which the sun and its planets were condensing. In either case, our solar system must have been formed in close conjunction with a supernova event. There is no other credible explanation of the great quantity of exploding atoms still present on the Earth. The most primitive and old-fashioned Geiger counter will indicate that we stand on fall-out from a vast nuclear explosion. Within our bodies, no less than three million atoms rendered unstable in that event still erupt every minute, releasing a tiny fraction of the energy stored from that fierce fire of long ago.


High amounts of uranium in the Earth's core suggest our sun was in the vicinity of a supernova event, and the atoms within our bodies, if measured with a Geiger counter, can be found to still be releasing the energy from that event.

Folksonomies: wonder ionian enchantment astronomy earth supernova

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 Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Lovelock, James (2000-11-23), Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, Oxford University Press, USA, Retrieved on 2011-04-11
Folksonomies: evolution gaia environmentalism earth ecology


01 JAN 2010

 The Wonder is All Around You

Memes from scientists about the beauty and wonder all around us.