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Announcements: Humans as Stardust

Humans Really Are Made of Stardust, and a New Study Proves It

An artist’s view of our Milky Way. A new study has mapped the abundance of elements found in the human body, the building blocks of life, in the stars of the Milky Way.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Humans Really Are Made of Stardust, and a New Study Proves ItCaltech

For decades, science popularizers have said humans are made of stardust, and now, a new survey of 150,000 stars shows just how true the old cliché is: Humans and their galaxy have about 97 percent of the same kind of atoms, and the elements of life appear to be more prevalent toward the galaxy’s center, the research found.

The crucial elements for life on Earth, often called the building blocks of life, can be abbreviated as CHNOPS: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. For the first time, astronomers have cataloged the abundance of these elements in a huge sample of stars.

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