From ashes to ashes, dust to dust’ so runs the line in Book of Common Prayer. In death of a star there is no burial service but it signals processes that resonate for us on earth as well. Now for some scientific facts.
Volcanic ash is inert but rain makes it active. Think of clouds of dust behaving in similar fashion. Gas released by death of stars when come into contact with these grains- analogous to sand, silicates, and infusion of stellar radiation are instant factories, churning out complex molecules. Atoms and molecules from the gas condense onto their surfaces and then interact with one another to form even more complex species. Water, a particularly abundant species, tends to form a layer of ice on the grain surfaces. New stars leave dramatic outflows of material disrupting environments and produce shocks when they collide with the processes begun in the wake of stellar radiation. This includes dislodging surface molecules from grains and prompting the molecules to radiate. The shocks can also fracture the grains, thereby injecting silicon oxide molecules (SiO) into the gas. A cluster of processes are set into motion. At speeds of 20-25 kilometers per second the grain surfaces are completely vaporized, returning all the ice to the gas as water vapor. Then, once the surface has been completely eroded, the grains begin to release SiO into the gas. By using Millimeter telescopes scientists have found that SiO gas emission is a ubiquitous signal around young stars.(Ack: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/Jan 7,’13)
We are nothing but dust but what grandeur is invested even in dust or in ashes? Life makes even inert body capable of thinking and doing things great many things. The shock process of living is to gather all the benign influences so we also radiate as it happens in space. When whatever happens are more or less played elsewhere life we need to rethink of life and death. Should we worry if we were come to death alone or in the midst of our loved ones? We are not lost among strangers or our family members since the whole cosmos is with us for company. Think of cosmos as our home to which the earth is our cradle.