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Your Body As A Dead Star, Explained [VIDEO]

A globular star cluster called Messier 5 (M5) containing 100,000 stars or more and packed into a region around 165 light-years in diameter is seen in an undated image taken by NASA A globular star cluster called Messier 5 (M5) containing 100,000 stars or more and packed into a region around 165 light-years in diameter is seen in an undated image taken by NASA's Hubble Space telescope and released April 25, 2014. Messier 5 lies some 25,000 light-years away and its stars are estimated to be nearly 13 billion years old, according to NASA. REUTERS/NASA/Hubble Space Telescope/Handout via Reuters (OUTER SPACE - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTR3MMIO  

The vast enormity of space and its incalculable stars aren’t as far away as we typically think according to an astronomer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center – in fact, they’re as close as a touch, hug or a kiss.

“We are dead stars looking back up at the sky,” science communicator Dr. Michelle Thaller says in a recent video posted by The Atlantic.

Stars account for the origin of every cell in our bodies, the elements of which were created in the burning cores of collapsing stars. Simple elements like hydrogen were the only ones that existed in the fallout from the Big Bang, which eventually gave way to increasingly complex combinations as the universe expanded and aged.

From the iron in our blood to the calcium in our bones, we’re literally made of stardust – making that Nat King Cole song closer to the truth than the legendary musician probably realized.

“The only thing in the universe that can make a bigger atom is a star,” Thaller explains. “The entire periodic table, every element you’ve ever heard of, was processed inside the body of a star. And that star then unraveled or exploded, and here we are.”

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