We Are Stardust

We once knew an astronomy professor who'd say to his students, “You all were once inside stars.” And he wasn't lying. He explained that the universe started off as mostly hydrogen molecules, which gravity pulled together to make stars. The resulting fiery reactions created the heavier elements – including carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen – that ended up on Earth as the literal building blocks of life. So yes, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, we are stardust. Pretty cool stuff. Such lessons are illustrated in a planetarium show called Life: A Cosmic Journey, narrated by Jodie Foster, who once played a rad space-traveling astrophysicist on the big screen herself. It's the main event at A Cosmic NightLife, an amazing mix of science and socializing. You can view gamma rays through the GORT space telescope. You can learn about efforts to find life elsewhere in the universe through SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. You can have a drink (or two) and listen to music by arts collective Pink Mammoth. And if you feel like you have stars in your eyes, you'll know why.
Thu., Nov. 11, 6 p.m., 2010

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