We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion year old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.
-Joni Mitchell

Here is the physics of it. The universe has two types of dust: bigbang dust and stardust. Hydrogen is bigbang dust.  Every other element in the periodic table is formed by nuclear fusion or the decay of fused nuclei down to lower elements, and is essentially stardust. Since our bodies are composed largely of water, good old H₂O, the amount or number of stardust atoms in our body is 40%. But since hydrogen has a comparatively lower mass, 93% of the mass in our body is stardust.

The poem is by UK poet Nikita Gill, “the poet of millennials” whose words have appeared on posters at international women’s marches and on tattoos, and whose third and latest book of poetry started out as #1 on the New York Times Bestsellers List.




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