"How Old are Your Leftovers?"

Written by Paul Sutter on Tuesday, 28 November 2017. Posted in From The Desk of...The Chief Scientist

Maybe you've reached your limits on turkey sandwiches, and perhaps that stuffing is looking a little long in the tooth. But your leftovers are far older than you might think:

- Turkey is a great source of selenium, an essential nutrient. This element was forged in a supernova explosion billions of years ago, maybe even just before the formation of the solar system.

- Cranberries have lots of fiber, which is just carbon. Carbon is fused inside stars like our sun near the end of their lives.

- Your stainless steel silverware is mostly made of iron, which is only formed in the most massive stars just before they detonate as supernovas.

- Your beverage of choice contains a lot of water, the most common molecule in the universe. The oxygen comes from sun-like stars, and hydrogen is the oldest element of all, coalescing in the first 20 minutes of the big bang itself, over 13.8 billion years ago.

So maybe it's time to toss those leftovers.

About the Author

Paul Sutter

Paul Sutter

Paul Sutter is COSI's Chief Scientist. He is an astrophysicist and offers a wealth of knowledge about our universe. In addition to his COSI position, Paul Sutter is a Cosmological Researcher and Community Outreach Coordinator at The Ohio State University's Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP).