The Stelliferous Era
COSMOS Formation of the Elements

The Stelliferous Era

Formation of the Elements

   Cosmological timescale
      The Primordial Era
      The Stelliferous Era
   Geological timescale

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   The Early Stelliferous Era

Formation of the Elements
Diagram of the stages of Formation of the Elements, from The Evolutionary Eras after the First Minute

The formation of the elements was a two stage process. First there were the light atomic nuclei (mostly Hydrogen and Helium) formed during the very early universe nucleosynthesis, between about 3 and 20 minutes after the Big Bang. Beginning around 10 gigayears ago, these nuclei were fused inside stars form the other elements within stars. Exploding supernovas at least 8 times more massive than our sun enabled the formation of heavier nuclei, including carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, calcium, and all the way up to very heavy elements such as iron, gold, and so on. (modified from Epic of Evolution Timeline - Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd). See Formation of the High Mass Elements (What Happens Inside a Star) for a more detailed account

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