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Life and Death in the Cosmos
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Song written for my cosmology class about supernovae, the deaths of massive stars that give life to us and other entities in the cosmos made out of elements heavier than helium
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Alan Marscher
2016 by Alan Marscher
November 23, 2016
MP3 3.7 MB, 160 kbps, 3:16
Story behind the song
All atoms except for hydrogen are synthesized in the cores of stars. When a star more massive than about 8 times the mass of the Sun uses up its hydrogen fuel in its core, it makes heavier elements. Eventually, these stars explode, having made all of the elements found in nature and spreading them throughout the Galaxy. When the next generations of stars are made from interstellar gas, they then contain these heavy elements. This allows planets to form around stars and, at least on our planet, people to appear.
1. The most massive stars have LOTS OF GAS But are so luminous that they BURN OUT FAST        Their core pressure gets too low to SUPPORT THEIR WEIGHT       Gravitational collapse CONTROLS THEIR FATE 2. Contraction of the core makes it VERY DENSE Its heat just keeps getting MORE INTENSE            Heavy nuclei of atoms get SYNTHESIZED As the matter gets more and more ENERGIZED . . . and . . . Climax:   The core implodes, the core implodes, and the rest of the star . . . EXPLODES!!!    It EXPLODES!!!   Propelled out to space It EXPLODES!!!    It just EXPLODES!!!   At an extremely rapid pace Left behind is a neutron star or sometimes a small black hole The first one spins as a pulsar, the second swallows planets whole 3. The remnant mixes with interSTELLAR GAS Enriched in elements made DURING THE BLAST        In clouds that later form new STAR SYSTEMS With planets where might live some ORGANISMS . . .  like us . . . like us Aftermath: Our ancestors were short-lived stars, so massive that they exploded apart We're made out of their atomic debris, "sons and daughters of the cosmos" describes humanity "Sons and daughters of the cosmos" describes you and me
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