Does the Sun have any heavy elements?
I have been reading astronomy and astrophisics books for 50 years, and being a layman only understand parts of them. I just read in HyperSpace, a book by Micol (something) that Earth has heavy elements that came from the cosmic cloud that it was formed from. Okay, clear. Knew that. Then he says the Sun (which was formed from that same cloud) doesn't have heavy elements. Why?
The Sun *does* have heavy elements. But heavy elements make up a smaller percentage of the Sun than of the Earth. This is because the Sun is massive enough that it's able to hold onto large amounts of hydrogen and helium. So hydrogen and helium makes up a larger percentage of the Sun, and heavy elements make up a smaller percentage.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 22428 times since December 2, 2002.
Last modified: June 4, 2003 9:26:10 PM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)