Life exists because following a Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago, a hot, dense cosmos expanded and cooled. As it did so, atoms, galaxies, stars, planets, and life arose. ‘From stardust to planets, the abodes for life’ examines how this process produced an abode for life — the Earth. It starts with the structure of the present universe, which provides the clues about its history. It explains how part of the ‘astro’ in astrobiology comes from the fact that all of the atoms used by life except for hydrogen were created inside stars, and explores the importance to astrobiology of the way stars ‘live’ and ‘die’.