Glossary term: Stellar Population

Description: Stellar population is a term for a group of stars. More generally a stellar population is any population of stars, for instance the stellar population of a galaxy.

More specifically this term is often used to refer to different populations of stars that make up a star cluster or galaxy. These populations may have different ages or metallicity, and may have different origins.

Stars in the Milky Way are often divided into Population I stars (the younger stars in the galactic disk with higher metallicities) and Population II stars (the older stars in the galactic halo with lower metallicities). Population III stars are a theorized population of stars with very low metallicity. Population III stars are thought to represent the first generation of stars to have formed after the Big Bang.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition have been approved by a research astronomer and a teacher

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".