In the years following the Big Bang, hydrogen atoms floated freely around the Universe. These atoms were slightly more packed together in some places than in others. In the more crowded areas, the hydrogen atoms were close enough to each other to let gravity do its work. In these little pockets of hydrogen, stars lit up across our Universe.

With the birth of stars, new sources of light and energy emerged all over the Universe. They burned hydrogen to create helium. Helium was used to create carbon. Neon, oxygen, silicon, and iron were also created during the lives of stars. However, once these stars started running out of fuel is when things really got interesting. It’s in the massive explosions that resulted from certain stars running out of fuel that all of the elements of the periodic table were created. Without the death of stars, our world would not exist today.

Aging and dying stars get hotter than… well, they get hot. Hot enough to create new, heavier elements. What's so special about the heavier elements? Imagine life without metal.

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