Humans are at least partly made from matter that created when suns exploded in distant galaxies, scientists say.
New research suggests that half the matter in the Milky Way — our home galaxy — comes from other galaxies throughout the universe.
As reported in Engadget, scientists from Northwestern University, University of California San Diego, California Institute of Technology, University of California Berkeley and the University of Toronto used a supercomputer to determine how galaxies are formed and the origins of the matter that would contribute to their growth.
What they found was that the birth of stars fueled the growth of early galaxies, but intergalactic transfer of matter through galactic wind was responsible for later increases in mass.
“What this new mode implies is that up to one-half of the atoms around us — including in the solar system, on Earth and in each one of us — comes not from our own galaxy but from other galaxies, up to one million light years away,” said Northwestern astrophysicist Claude-André Faucher-Giguère, one of the authors of the article, which was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.