IAU Symposium 256
The Magellanic System: Stars, Gas, and Galaxies
28 July - 1 August 2008            Keele University (UK)

Outreach: Laboratories of Stellar Astrophysics
Simulation of the early UniverseBecause the Magellanic Clouds have such a low metal content, astrophysicists can study processes under conditions which cannot be found in other nearby galaxies. Metals are formed inside large stars at the end of their lives, which means that there were less metals available in the early Universe. Therefore, the Magellanic Clouds offer almost unique views of the early Universe. Being able to see the conditions in the Universe so long ago lets astrophysicists understand more fully how the Universe has developed over time.

Also, some stars behave in different ways in galaxies with little metal. For example, a particular type of large star, known as a B star, rotates faster if less metal is present.

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