I understand that most of the matter in the universe (aside from dark matter and energy of course) is hydrogen (74%) and helium (23-25%), leaving the remainder of the elements at only a few percent.
It's explained that massive stars will fuse helium into carbon after they've fused hydrogen into helium, and they continue doing this until sufficient Iron is fused, and due to energy input vs output, the star goes supernova. During the supernova, all other elements are produced and jettisoned into interstellar space.
It is probably naive to think that elements beyond Iron are formed in descending abundance as they are arranged on the periodic table, even though that seems to hold true for elements prior to Iron.
I presume lead and mercury are much more abundant than gold, based on human valuation of it, but is it possible that gold is more abundant than lead on a larger (galactic) scale?
If not, then during supernovae, what governs the amounts of elements produced? Does this have any correlation with atomic weight and position on the table?