All the stars in the universe, including the Sun, are nuclear furnaces fueled by fusion. Beginning with the fusion of hydrogen and continuing with fusion of successively heavier elements, stars form all the naturally occurring elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. This video segment illustrates the critical role that stars play in creating the elements, and describes the process of nucleosynthesis, in which increasingly heavier elements up through iron are formed, at which point the star collapses and explodes in a supernova, during which elements heavier than iron are created. The segment is three minutes forty-two seconds in length. A background essay and discussion questions are included.


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