An Astronomer Explains Why This Is the Best Moment in Cosmic History to Be Alive

A deep look at the stars and their role in our creation makes a welcome break from the news of the day.

In this short film, Michelle Thaller, a NASA astronomer and assistant director for science communication at the Goddard Space Flight Center, explains the role stars have played in the creation of the earth’s elements throughout time.

“So what is human existence? How can you actually sum it up? It turns out it’s actually pretty simple,” Thaller says. “We are dead stars looking back up at the sky.”

Beyond explaining the effect stars have on the world around us, Thaller describes how a good understanding of our environment can help foster a better appreciation for your own life as well as this particular time in the earth’s history.

We Are Dead Stars was released by The Really Big Questions, a group that explores topics of interest to scientists and philosophers—questions about society, the natural world, and what makes us human.