How our teeth and bones are made from calcium that came from supernovas

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How can you trace minerals from supernovas to our teeth and bones? Isn’t the calcium that make up our bones produced during our gestation? How is that connected to a supernova from potentially millions of years ago?

In: Biology

16 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The calcium in your bones is taken from blood. It gets into blood from food. The atoms are not destroyed or created there. All these calcium atoms are just redistributed. When you die it goes into the ground and back into nature.

Fusing new atoms is incredibly energy-consuming process that is happening under huge pressures and temperatures of stars.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Elements heavier than hydrogen are created within stars, where hydrogen is fused together to form helium, which is fused to form lithium, and so-on and so-on. These elements are effectively “stored” within stars until they go supernova at the end of their lives. At this point, the explosion propels these elements all throughout the universe, where it eventually congealed into a dust cloud and formed our solar system. This dust is where the Earth eventually formed out of. Thus, everything we are is a result of dying stars. 

So it’s not wrong to say we get our calcium from eating calcium, but the presence of calcium itself is a result of supernovae. 

 (All of this is from my rudimentary knowledge of stars and supernovae)

Anonymous 0 Comments

Calcium is an element, an atom, not a molecule which is a collection of several atoms. Your body (or your mother’s body) is capable of linking atoms together to make new molecules, but it is not capable of making entirely new atoms. Making a new atom is nuclear physics, linking atoms together in new ways is just chemistry. Making new atoms is possible, but requires way way way more energy than your body is capable of handling, like, millions of times more energy. The only naturally occurring things in the universe that are energetic enough to make entirely new atoms are stars, and even then, some types of atoms are more difficult to make. The only way we know of to make heavier elements like calcium is when a star dies and explodes in a super nova.

To put the difference in energy into perspective, think about nuclear bombs. The biggest nuke ever detonated was the Tsar Bomba. It weighed 27 tons (that’s pretty heavy!). But it exploded with the same amount of force as 50 megatons of TNT. That is to say, a nuclear bomb that weighed just 27 tons exploded with the same amount of energy as *50,000,000 tons of chemical explosive*.

When your body is forming in the womb, your mother is not generating new atoms. She eats something that has calcium in it, then transports that calcium to your body, where it gets put in its proper position and linked up with other atoms. But at no point is she ‘making’ calcium or any other atom. The calcium already existed.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The calcium that produces bones during fetal development comes from calcium in the woman’s diet, which comes from plants, which got their calcium from the soil, which came from pebbles and dust from supernova explosions. 

Anonymous 0 Comments

The star explosions spread calcium and other elements into space, which eventually became part of Earth. Plants absorbed this calcium, and we got it by eating plants or animals. Then during our development in the womb, we received calcium through our mother’s diet. 

Anonymous 0 Comments

So, early on, the universe is essentially just light elements, mostly hydrogen but maybe some helium and stuff. They form stars, which are powered by *fusion.* This produces mostly helium, but potentially some lighter elements. Supernovas, however, are the dying extreme of stars that have enough force and energy to create a *ton* of heavier elements, then scatter them across space.

Our solar system is made up of the dust of many of these early events of the universe.

The calcium in your bones and the trace heavier elements are *not* produced by any biological process. The biological process simply scavenges these resources that already exist in your surroundings from your diet so that you can reuse them to create structures and proteins and such. No *chemical* or *biological* reaction changes the atoms themselves–that requires nuclear fusion and nuclear fission, which our bodies don’t do.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Calcium is a chemical element. Elements are made up of atoms.

We humans are not able to change chemical elements.

As far as our body is concerned calcium is calcium. We don’t make it at all, we don’t change something else into it, and we don’t change it into something else.

It’s just…there and we eat it and then turn it into teeth and bones.

Stars happens to be basically the only place in the universe where elements can change. They do this by smashing atoms together so hard that they combine and when a star goes supernova it smashes a ton of atoms together extra hard. And that tends to be really good at making a lot of the heavier elements.

So billions of years ago a star went supernova and then that debris field eventually formed our planet over billions of years. And us humans are munching on that billions of year old calcium to make out teeth and bones because there’s no way for it to change into something other than calcium.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Why focus on just calcium?? Every single thing you have ever seen or will see was ultimately created in a star, at least initially. Crazy huh. We live in a reality that’s so bizarre it’s scary if you think about it too much.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Calcium is an element. The heavier an element the more energetic a fusion event is required in order to make it.

Hydrogen was the only element to begin with, but hydrogen can be smashed together in the core of stars to make helium, helium can make lithium etc up to iron.

But iron takes more energy to make than is released when the elements that make it smash together, so something more violent has to happen in order to make heavier elements.

In a supernova there is a lot of energy, enough energy to fuse elements into heavier forms. For the heaviest elements, even supernova aren’t energetic enough, it takes the collision of stars or star remnants to make them.

And since most of the calcium and other heavier elements on earth have been there since it formed, and it formed soon after the sun, and the sun hasn’t gone supernova, we know that these heavy elements must have been formed by older stars that died before the sun was born.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s all a theory. There’s no way of truly knowing. But if you start from the premise that everything in the universe started off as hydrogen (the simplest atom), then the only way for more complex atoms to come about is through intense energy – the most intense being supernovas.