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What is silicon? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By |2018-04-24T14:46:23-07:00June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Diagram of a silicon atom When a red giant star is getting older and runs out of helium fuel, it starts to convert the oxygen atoms in the star into silicon atoms. All silicon is made this way, inside a red giant star. Silicon is heavier than oxygen, because oxygen has only eight protons [...]

What is oxygen? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By |2018-04-24T14:46:22-07:00June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Diagram of an oxygen atom When a star has changed all of its hydrogen atoms into helium, it turns into a red giant and moves on to convert the helium atoms into carbon atoms and oxygen atoms. All of the oxygen in the universe starts out inside stars. Then when all the helium is used up, [...]

What is nitrogen? Atoms, Elements, Chemistry

By |2018-04-24T14:46:22-07:00June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Diagram of a nitrogen atom Inside a red giant star, the star smashes lighter atoms together. Smashing atoms gets the star energy to burn, and also leaves extra heavier atoms. Nitrogen is one of these heavier atoms, left over when a star smashes together carbon atoms. Nitrogen is not very heavy, though, and a [...]

What is iron? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By |2018-04-24T14:46:24-07:00June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Diagram of an iron atom When a red giant star finishes changing all of its helium into carbon and oxygen, it then starts to turn the carbon and oxygen atoms into iron atoms. Iron is the heaviest kind of atom that a star can make, so when a star has made most of its carbon and oxygen [...]