Altair was born a star. “She shines!” all said. But she tripped through life, feeling factory-made, dust bland, unsure what she was made of.
Until recently, scientists thought that the massive explosions of supernovae would completely destroy any molecules and dust that were already present. Recent developments in the study of the cosmic ‘dust factory’ of Supernova 1987A suggest that the aftermath of the death of stars could lead to similar conditions to those seen in a stellar nursery. Sierra July weaves this discovery with ever-familiar imposter syndrome and the haunting sense that every atom is re-used. // Alex Massey