Monday, February 19, 2007

Why I chose the name "Stardust"

When choosing a name to use in the Blogosphere, it wasn't really a hard decision for me. I knew it had to be "Stardust." Why? Well, there are several reasons why I love this name.

First of all, "Stardust" is my favorite song of all time. I've loved it since I was a small child and played with my mother's alarm clock/music box that played this tune. The music box was small, dark mahogany-colored and the music box part wound with a tiny crank that was on the back of it with the winder and alarm switch for the clock. I wound that little box so many times I wore it out. I would love to find a music box again that plays that song, and if anyone knows where I can find one, please let me know! I might just get two of them and give my mom one. I have my favorite performers who have sung this song . . . Louis Armstrong, Willie Nelson, Julio Iglesias, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles. . . but my all time favorite performer of "Stardust" is Nat King Cole.

Another reason I like the name "Stardust" is because it's the stuff everything in the universe is made of. We are stardust because we are made of the same elements that stars are made of. The elements themselves (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, etc.) are synthesized, cooked up as it were, in the nuclear furnaces that are the deep interior of stars. These elements are then released at the end of a star's lifetime when it explodes, and subsequently incorporated into a new generation of stars -- and into the planets that form around the stars, and the lifeforms that originate on the planets. One day our own sun will expand and explode, and will at that time engulf and incinerate the first three or four planets of our solar system . . . and a nursery full of new stars will be born. In that sense, nothing really dies, we just return from whence we came. Starstuff.

My final reason for picking the name "Stardust" is because I love astronomy and am sort of an amateur astronomer. I keep track of the NASA news, and I read those sites every day and study the images and find them absolutely fascinating. Like I say in my profile, if I could live life over again I would become an astronomer. One of my favorite missions was the Stardust Mission.
Stardust is the first U.S. space mission dedicated solely to the exploration of a comet, and the first robotic mission designed to return extraterrestrial material from outside the orbit of the Moon.

Supernovas: When Stars Die

1 comment:

Dwight Aranha said...

Good afternoon!

Thanks for the article. Yesterday, on the streetcar, I was struck by the insight that we are all 're-cycled stardust'....we all come from the same place....