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This New Periodic Table Shows the Cosmic Origin of Everything

Jan 25, 2017 09:48 AM EST
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For those who have ever wondered about life and where it came from, look up at the stars. A new version of the periodic table showed just how much of the human body - and everything else in the Universe, for that matter - is made up of magical star dust.

According to a report from Science Alert, the average adult human body contains about seven octillion (7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) atoms. Most of these are hydrogen, known to be the most common in the entire Universe and created out of the Big Bang 13.4 billion years ago.

Ohio State University astronomer Jennifer A. Johnson sought to explain the human body's connection to the cosmos by designing a new version of the periodic element that highlights the origins of each element. Click here to see the new periodic table.

"This is what happens when you give two astronomers, who are tired of reminding everyone about which elements go with which process [on] a periodic table, a set of markers, and time when they should have been listening to talks,\" Johnson wrote in a blog entry on the Sloan Digital Sky Surveys website.

"This is what happens when you give two astronomers, who are tired of reminding everyone about which elements go with which process [on] a periodic table, a set of markers, and time when they should have been listening to talks," Johnson wrote in a blog entry on the Sloan Digital Sky Surveys website.

The first one was a collaboration between her and Inese Ivans in 2008, then refined by Anna Frebel. This new version is quite straight-forward, color-coded according to the origin of the element in the solar system. There are six possible sources: Big Bang fusion, cosmic ray fission, merging neutron stars, exploding massive stars, dying low mass stars, and exploding white dwarf.

Johnson explained, "Elements with more than one source have the approximate amount due to each process indicated by the amount of area. Tc, Pm, and the elements beyond U do not have long-lived or stable isotopes. I have ignored the elements beyond U in this plot, but not including Tc and Pm looked weird, so I have included them in grey."

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