About 4 and a half billions years ago something interesting happened in an out-of-the-way part of the galaxy. The sun ignited at the center of a cloud of gas and dust. The rest, as they say, is history.
We now know that stars (the sun included) are born in dust clouds, redden and swell to many times their original size as they age, then end their lives in incredible explosions that leave the most bizarre objects in the universe behind.
They are the major engines for pumping out atoms heavier than hydrogen -- the stuff that makes up the Earth, its rocks, its oceans and its life forms -- even the two-legged variety reading this page.
How about that . . . you are from outer space after all!
Click ahead to find out more.