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Symposium 241

Abstract details

New Lessons on the First Stars

The first stars in the Universe formed within a few hundred million years of the Big Bang, reionized the Universe. They were likely very massive and short-lived, but produced the chemical enrichment that eased the formation of lower-mass stars easier and inaugurated the formation of galaxies. Their immediate descendants are to be sought among the most metal-poor stars found today. Our Large Programme "First Stars" has devoted over 40 nights with the ESO VLT/UVES to a systematic study of a large sample of such stars, both turnoff stars and giants. We will briefly review the salient results from this programme, including new results on the primordial lithium abundance; the earliest nucleosynthesis in the (proto)Galaxy/galaxies; the structure of the first supernovae; the efficiency of mixing in the ISM; mixing and surface abundance modifications in very metal-poor giants; the origin of early s-process nucleosynthesis; and radioactive U/Th dating of very old stars.

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