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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: December 2020

1 - Why Carbon in Earth Matters

Summary

Carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe. It is outweighed by hydrogen, responsible for nine-tenths of the mass of ordinary matter in the cosmos, and by helium. Hydrogen and helium are remnants of the Big Bang: they are products of the first three minutes of our fireworks universe. Oxygen, the third most abundant element, and carbon are ashes from the explosive finale of the evolution of stars.

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