carbon

Tag archives for carbon

The Cosmic Story of Carbon-14

“Life exists in the universe only because the carbon atom possesses certain exceptional properties.” -James Jeans Here on Earth, every living thing is based around four fundamental, elemental building blocks of life: hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and, perhaps most importantly, carbon. From diamonds to nanotubes to DNA, carbon is indispensable for constructing practically all of the most intricate…

Astronomers make use of… molecules?

When I think of molecules, I think of Conan O’Brien doing his skit where he plays Moleculo… the molecular man! I don’t think of astronomy, and I certainly don’t think of the leftover radiation from the big bang (known as the cosmic microwave background)! But somebody over at the European Southern Observatory put these two…

The Earth is More than 6000 Years Old!

Even creationists have said that if you find something that’s alive now that’s over 6000 years old, it would prove to them that the Earth is at least that old. Previously, the oldest tree in the world was thought to be a Bristlecone Pine in California, known as the Methuselah tree, at 4,840 years old…

Do all Stars Eventually Explode?

What’s going to happen to all the stars in the Universe as they get older? Well, just as nothing can live forever, stars can’t live forever also. Why? Because they run on fuel: burning hydrogen into helium, for example. When they run out of fuel, something’s gotta give. Barbara Ryden reminds us of an excellent…