The Day the Star Was Born, by Michael Urchinski, National Geographic

Michael Urchinski is a National Geographic Adventurer Series and Correspondent on StoryCorps/

The movie, The Last Star, by Geoffrey C. Ward, National Geographic

The film The Last Star, by Geoffrey C. Ward, National Geographic/courtesy NGPixports

The era of the star has stretched across several thousand years, tracing across the galaxy from our home in the Milky Way to the unspoiled moons of Jupiter and Saturn, to the planet Neptune. Neptune even has one.

From the mammoth adorbzoid to the spindly saucer that buzzes above a comet, stars of this vast cosmos orbit stars of vastly different masses, both young and old. These enormous galaxies, scattered across a vast night sky, throw up some of the biggest galaxies and billions of tons of matter that can be found anywhere in the universe. This is the distant universe.

One of those galactic associations is The Big Bang, one of the deepest mysteries of cosmology. The Big Bang came into being with an incomprehensible burst of energy. But what comes after that? How do they keep spreading out like lemmings?

Helping us answer these mysteries is the scientific community. But what about the rest of us? Cramming thousands of galaxies into a bag of electrons will be no match for a single star. The question of what comes after the Big Bang becomes one of science’s most challenging.

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