9) Sun Number One
These were the first generation of stars, and they were bigger, hotter and fiercer than any since. They were the dinosaurs of space, and they gobbled up the atoms that surrounded them, continuously growing the more they ate. Their lifespan was short, but prolific, as reactions within these first generation suns resulted in the synthesis of new, heavier, more complex elements that had never existed before. The burning bodies of these ancient stars held the ingredients from which the rest of the universe would go on to be made.
Not only did they generate these elements within their burning bodie, but the first generation of suns also pioneered a npvel way to get these new elements into general circulation. When they died, the really big ones didn’t just fizzle out, but went with a fantastical flourish – a supernova. Whe they had grown beyond their means they began to collapse in on themselves, which created a gravitational implosion that was so strong that the astronomical ball of flame would condense onto a miniscule, simple grey ball (called a neutron star), a hard surface which bounced back all the extra matter with incredible force. The energy of the supernova created yet more elements, such as oxygen and carbon, and these materials were flung far and wide, as if they were fungal spores or exploding seed pods.
Some of these super-massive first stars may have also left behind another important phenomenon in the dust of their dramatic departures, structures we can’t directly see because their mass is so powerful light itself can’t escape their grip – black holes. Silently, they would have remained, sucking in drifting detritus, and growing.