Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Star formation

  1. Mar 15, 2010 #1
    Why do we need helium for star formation?
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2010 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Who said we did? Stars would work fine without helium. Of course, Big Bang nucleosynthesis converted ~25% of the universe' hydrogen (by weight) to helium, so stars inevitably form with a large amount of helium. But it's not "needed".
  4. Mar 17, 2010 #3
    It's not needed but it is part of the history of our universe. The stars in our universe would have formed slower if there was no helium around and the universe today would look very different if there had not been a small quantity of helium, but no, it is not essential to star formation.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook