If you've never cared about space before, now is a great time to start.
NASA has just released a new video that takes us on a tour of the Veil Nebula — remnants of a star that exploded about 8,000 years ago. Images collected from the Hubble Space Telescope give us an up-close look at the dust and gas racing away from where the star once stood.
And the gorgeous colors aren't even the most exciting part of it.
Throughout a star's life, elements are forged together in its core. Aside from hydrogen and helium, everything else (up through iron) is fused in the center of a star. When the star dies and explodes, the contents are spewed across the Universe.
For carbon-based creatures like us, that means a lot. As astronomer Carl Sagan wrote:
"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff."
Each one of us could only be here because of stars that have lived and died throughout the Universe for billions of years before we came to be. It's pretty amazing.
Take a look at this utterly gorgeous visualization here:
What will the elements from this dead star go toward?
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[All images via: NASA]