Rotating Question Curious About Astronomy? Ask an Astronomer

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.

December 2002, Christopher Springob (more by Christopher Springob) (Like this Answer)

Still Curious?

Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:

Related questions:

More questions about The Sun: Previous | Next

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

URL: http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=413
This page has been accessed 22936 times since December 2, 2002.
Last modified: June 4, 2003 9:26:10 PM

Legal questions? See our copyright, disclaimer and privacy policy.
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)