APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:12 am

Image Where Your Elements Came From

Explanation: The hydrogen in your body, present in every molecule of water, came from the Big Bang. There are no other appreciable sources of hydrogen in the universe. The carbon in your body was made by nuclear fusion in the interior of stars, as was the oxygen. Much of the iron in your body was made during supernovas of stars that occurred long ago and far away. The gold in your jewelry was likely made from neutron stars during collisions that may have been visible as short-duration gamma-ray bursts. Elements like phosphorus and copper are present in our bodies in only small amounts but are essential to the functioning of all known life. The featured periodic table is color coded to indicate humanity's best guess as to the nuclear origin of all known elements. The sites of nuclear creation of some elements, such as copper, are not really well known and are continuing topics of observational and computational research.

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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by messier.palette » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:38 am

Fantastic elements chart. I was thinking very recently that I'd like more detail on the specifics of each element's origin, and APOD to the rescue! Gotta love synchronicity.

One thing I looked for in the chart right off the bat was how this chart classified gold (Au). Awhile back, I read that some scientists had been skeptical that gold could be generated even by a supernova. And then a couple of years ago (more or less), I read several articles discussing possible stronger evidence for the collision of two neutron stars (a rare occurrence) being behind the rare bits of gold ("vanishingly rare" according to Brian Cox) that we find here on earth.

I continue to read the occasional back and forth about it.

Now I'm a little confused, because the chart is still putting gold down to supernovae, while the APOD commentary does mention it being "likely" that the gold in our jewelry came from neutron star collisions, as many scientists now apparently favor. Was it just that the chart needs another icon/color added to its legend, in light of new information?

Disclaimer: I'm just a reader who loves stars, etc.,, not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination. And I'm writing this post from memory, without any references. So please forgive any inaccuracies or lapses, as well as my possible complete misunderstanding of the data.

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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by alter-ego » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:29 am

There are another 15 man-made elements that aren't in this table. The most recent additions now total the count to 118.
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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by tnzkka » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:50 am

AFAIK element 43 Tc (Technetium) is also manmade, hence it's name.
At least the Dutch Wikipedia agrees with me.
Any comment or rectification on my knowledge or on Wikipedia(Dutch)?

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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by geckzilla » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:00 am

tnzkka wrote:AFAIK element 43 Tc (Technetium) is also manmade, hence it's name.
At least the Dutch Wikipedia agrees with me.
Any comment or rectification on my knowledge or on Wikipedia(Dutch)?
I can't help you other than to redirect you to the English version of the Wikipedia article. In short, it is both naturally occurring and a byproduct of man-made nuclear fission. In fact the spectral line—evidence for its occurrence in some red-giant stars—is also rare enough that it earns them a special name. They're technetium stars!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technetiu ... production
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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by ygmarchi » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:46 am

Not such a beauty as wallpaper, but interesting :-)

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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by heehaw » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:30 am

I thought Li, Be, B were, with He, made in the first 3 minutes?

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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by neufer » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:28 pm

heehaw wrote:
I thought Li, Be, B were, with He, made in the first 3 minutes?
Li, Be, B were indeed made in the Big Bang...but in such tiny amounts that other processes dominate the final amounts of these elements in your body.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beryllium wrote:
<<Both stable and unstable isotopes of beryllium are created in stars, but the radioisotopes do not last long. It is believed that most of the stable beryllium in the universe was originally created in the interstellar medium when cosmic rays induced fission in heavier elements found in interstellar gas and dust. Primordial beryllium contains only one stable isotope, 9Be, and therefore beryllium is a monoisotopic element.
Radioactive cosmogenic 10Be is produced in the atmosphere of the Earth by the cosmic ray spallation of oxygen. 10Be accumulates at the soil surface, where its relatively long half-life (1.36 million years) permits a long residence time before decaying to boron-10. Thus, 10Be and its daughter products are used to examine natural soil erosion, soil formation and the development of lateritic soils, and as a proxy for measurement of the variations in solar activity and the age of ice cores. The production of 10Be is inversely proportional to solar activity, because increased solar wind during periods of high solar activity decreases the flux of galactic cosmic rays that reach the Earth. Nuclear explosions also form 10Be by the reaction of fast neutrons with 13C in the carbon dioxide in air. This is one of the indicators of past activity at nuclear weapon test sites. The isotope 7Be (half-life 53 days) is also cosmogenic, and shows an atmospheric abundance linked to sunspots, much like 10Be.

8Be has a very short half-life of about 7×10−17 s that contributes to its significant cosmological role, as elements heavier than beryllium could not have been produced by nuclear fusion in the Big Bang. This is due to the lack of sufficient time during the Big Bang's nucleosynthesis phase to produce carbon by the fusion of 4He nuclei and the very low concentrations of available beryllium-8. The British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle first showed that the energy levels of 8Be and 12C allow carbon production by the so-called triple-alpha process in helium-fueled stars where more nucleosynthesis time is available. This process allows carbon to be produced in stars, but not in the Big Bang. Star-created carbon (the basis of carbon-based life) is thus a component in the elements in the gas and dust ejected by AGB stars and supernovae (see also Big Bang nucleosynthesis), as well as the creation of all other elements with atomic numbers larger than that of carbon.>>
P.S., Where do babies come from :?:
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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by Cousin Ricky » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:39 pm

tnzkka wrote:AFAIK element 43 Tc (Technetium) is also manmade, hence it's name.
At least the Dutch Wikipedia agrees with me.
Any comment or rectification on my knowledge or on Wikipedia(Dutch)?
Technetium is naturally occurring, but its half life is short enough that all the primordial technetium on Earth has decayed. Thus, it is found in stars, but not on Earth (except in trace amounts from nuclear processes of other elements). The same is true of promethium.

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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:49 pm

heehaw wrote:I thought Li, Be, B were, with He, made in the first 3 minutes?
Li in very small quantities, most of which may have been subsequently destroyed. Be only formed as an unstable isotope which subsequently decayed to He or Li. B may not have formed in the BB at all, but if it did, it would be in trace amounts compared with what subsequently formed through stellar nucleosynthesis.
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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by neufer » Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:41 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
B may not have formed in the BB at all, but if it did, it would be in trace amounts compared with what subsequently formed through stellar nucleosynthesis.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang_nucleosynthesis#Heavy_elements wrote:
<<[Theoretically] Big Bang nucleosynthesis produced no elements heavier than beryllium, due to a bottleneck: the absence of a stable nucleus with 8 or 5 nucleons. This deficit of larger atoms also limited the amounts of lithium-7 and beryllium-9 produced during BBN. In stars, the bottleneck is passed by triple collisions of helium-4 nuclei, producing carbon (the triple-alpha process). However, this process is very slow, taking tens of thousands of years to convert a significant amount of helium to carbon in stars, and therefore it made a negligible contribution in the minutes following the Big Bang.

[However..] traces of boron have been found in some old stars, giving rise to the question whether some boron, not really predicted by the theory, might have been produced in the Big Bang. The question is not presently resolved.>>
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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:28 pm

Quite a thought provoking APOD ultimately featuring the elements, the energy and the glue that holds everything together.

I chose to omit the Oxford comma out of ""gratitude to matter's parents" – energy and glue.

It kind of reminds me of Einstein's famous equation E = mc2 though I suppose it should be E / c2 = M which Henri Poincaré associated with a "fictitious fluid" having momentum and mass.

Did that result in the subject of today's APOD or are there some odd "genetics" involved? What if mass and energy met when E divided by c equaled M times c, intermingled then "de-forced" with M getting all the c? I guess we'd blame it on the glue. I like it but is it legal to get a circumstantial de-force :?: Just having more fun with fizzics...

I don't suppose there's any momentum for me to spin it that way :no: though I would like to know where I came from. :yes:
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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by loquin » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:39 pm

So...

The chart indicates that all Helium was produced in the Big Bang. Since the major source of energy from stars on the main sequence is in the fusion of Hydrogen into Helium, has not enough helium been produced in stars to be a factor in the helium mass equation as of yet?

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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by rstevenson » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:52 pm

loquin wrote:So... The chart indicates that all Helium was produced in the Big Bang. Since the major source of energy from stars on the main sequence is in the fusion of Hydrogen into Helium, has not enough helium been produced in stars to be a factor in the helium mass equation as of yet?
The vast majority of Helium in the universe now was indeed produced during the first few minutes after the BB. It's true that Helium is produced in stars, but in the larger stars, where most of it is produced, the Helium in turn is "burned" to produce other elements. I can't find a source saying just what percentage of Helium currently in the universe has been star-produced, though.

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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:12 pm

rstevenson wrote:
loquin wrote:So... The chart indicates that all Helium was produced in the Big Bang. Since the major source of energy from stars on the main sequence is in the fusion of Hydrogen into Helium, has not enough helium been produced in stars to be a factor in the helium mass equation as of yet?
The vast majority of Helium in the universe now was indeed produced during the first few minutes after the BB. It's true that Helium is produced in stars, but in the larger stars, where most of it is produced, the Helium in turn is "burned" to produce other elements. I can't find a source saying just what percentage of Helium currently in the universe has been star-produced, though.
Yeah, it's a tiny amount. Consider that 98% of the ordinary matter in the Universe is primordial H and He, so everything else is only 2%, which includes additional He from stellar nucleosynthesis- and He is only a small part of that. So within the errors of our ability to measure it, and within the uncertainty in our understanding of theory, there's essentially been no change in the total amount of helium since the BB.
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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by ta152h0 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:46 pm

is radioactivity the same as " cosmic ray " ?????
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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:46 pm

I couldn't figure out why our helium supply seemed -all of a sudden- better. It's not like we are going to start making it helium from fusion any time soon.

Then I read this.

But then again maybe there's a new source?
Sun Canadian Pipeline.jpg
Those Canucks are ambitious!! :thumb_up:
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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by Boomer12k » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:55 pm

Hello....Fellow Universarians....

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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:57 pm

ta152h0 wrote:is radioactivity the same as " cosmic ray " ?????
No (although cosmic rays are a form of radiation). Cosmic rays are very energetic particles- so energetic that when they strike interstellar dust, they can knock out protons and therefore change one element to another. That's how most Li, Be, and B are believed to be produced.
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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:18 pm

Weighing our elements might be another matter. Not as straightforward as one might think.
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by cmglee » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:36 pm

First off, many thanks to Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell for selecting my illustration as APOD; it's a great honour!

As for the accuracy of the chart, it was based on data at http://www4.nau.edu/meteorite/Meteorite ... saryN.html . As I asked on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia: ... osynthesis , I later found other sources with conflicting information, but there was no consensus on what was right.

I strive for correctness in my illustrations, so if anyone here has a more reputable source, please leave me a note at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/file_ ... _table.svg or http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/user_talk:cmglee — looking forward to hearing from you!

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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by messier.palette » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:14 am

Cmglee!!!

This is such a fantastic chart. Putting the elements keyed together with their origins is so cool, and answers a wish I've had. Thank you for doing this! As for the gold (Au) issue, "correctness," etc., in chemistry, physics, and astronomy is, by nature, a moving target (literally and figuratively LOL). Your work was fantastic, and is now the wallpaper on my device. And if I ever get a computer, it will be there too.

Thank you.

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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by tnzkka » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:55 am

I wish to thank geckzilla and Cousin Ricky for their comments and link provided. They are a big help. And the promethium-fact mentioned by Cousin Ricky is new the me!

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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by Guest » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:20 pm

The figure claims that lithium comes primarily from cosmic rays, but this is not the case as far as I know. The Wikipedia page on lithium says "According to modern cosmological theory, lithium—as both of its stable isotopes lithium-6 and lithium-7—was among the 3 elements synthesized in the Big Bang." The only mention of cosmic rays on the whole page is in the sentence "Additional small amounts of lithium of both 6Li and 7Li may be generated from solar wind, cosmic rays hitting heavier atoms, and from early solar system 7Be and 10Be radioactive decay." The lithium square should be recolored to Big Bang Purple, as far as I can tell. I didn't attempt to check any other entries, but this one jumped out at me since I remember learning in my physics classes that lithium came primarily from the big bang.

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Re: APOD: Where Your Elements Came From (2016 Jan 25)

Post by DavidLeodis » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:25 pm

Its a fascinating diagram and with lots of interesting things through the links. I notice in the information brought up through the "nuclear origin" link that it states "The first nuclei were formed about three minutes after the Big Bang". It took it long enough! :wink:

The poor thing brought up through the "life" link needs cheering up, but I know just how it feels on a bad day. A nice :doughnut: or two will help :) .