The Most Astounding Fact

April 18, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More

Neil deGrasse Tyson was asked to designate “the most astounding fact” about the universe. Here is his answer:

As I listened to deGrasse Tyson’s poetry I was reminded Lawrence Krauss indicating that the atoms in your left hand came from different stars than the atoms in your right hand. This is an extraordinary claim. I decided to look at a few technical articles on heavy element synthesis, and there is very good reason to think that the heavy elements on earth were synthesized in stars. See, for instance, this Wikipedia article on nucleosynthesis, which includes the following chart on the abundance of the various elements throughout the universe.

And see this article on supernova nucleosynthesis.  Here’s an article on stellar nucleosynthesis.  Finally, here is a Nova video that includes explanations by scientists themselves.

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Category: Astronomy, Science

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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