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In astronomy and cosmology, the term "metal" or metal-rich is used to refer to any element heavier than hydrogen and helium. For example, a nebula that was rich in carbon compounds would be called "metal-rich", even though carbon is not considered a metal in other contexts. Elements heavier than hydrogen and helium are distinguished by having been created by nuclear fusion since the original formation of the universe.

Earth's Sun is an example of a metal-rich star.

The term Metal-rich is also called Population I stars.

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