By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
Timeline Story

Population III Stars: Heavier Elements

Population III Stars: Heavier Elements

Absolute Years From Now: -13600000000
Story Reference Date: 03/25/2024

Legacy: First 26 elements of the periodic table of elements.

200 million years after the singularity, gravity continued to play its part, drawing atoms into an intimate collapse, giving birth to the very first stars and galaxies. These first stars, known as Population III stars, were stellar giants: massive, hot, and short-lived; they burned for just a few million years, likely with no planets to keep them company. None of these titans still illuminate the cosmos today. They consumed their nuclear fuel voraciously and met their demise in awe-inspiring supernova explosions, forging heavier elements in the process. Their legacy is the creation of increasingly heavier elements, starting with carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, and continuing up to iron with its 26 protons. When you look at the Periodic Table of Elements, make note of the first 26 elements, the legacy of the first stars.

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