Why is the Sun made from hydrogen?
Why is the Sun made from hydrogen and the earth with all the other elements?i thought they were formed from the same cloud of dust!is it because of heavier elements gravitational pull?
- SkechersLv 710 years agoFavorite Answer
You see that hydrogen is by far the most abundant element in the Sun, followed by helium. Those two together make up 99.9 percent by number of the total atoms in the Sun! This is also what we find in the composition of the Universe as a whole.
When other stars are studied spectroscopically it is found that most stars are composed of around 70 percent hydrogen and 28 percent helium by mass, very similar to what we see in the Sun. The fraction of all other elements, the "heavier" elements, is small and varies considerably from 2 or 3 percent by mass in Sun-like stars to 0.1 to 0.01 percent by mass in stars found in globular clusters. We call those stars with very little heavy elements "population II stars" and those with Sun-like heavy element abundances "population I stars". Theories of stellar evolution state that the population I stars are a later generation of stars, that formed after some enrichment of gas clouds between stars had already taken place. That is because stars "burn" lighter elements into heavier ones during their lives (scientists call this process "nucleosynthesis"). Right now, the Sun is burning hydrogen into helium at it's center, or "core". This is the chain of nuclear fusion that powers the Sun. The net effect is that four hydrogen nuclei combine to create one helium nucleus, some gamma-ray radiation and two neutrinos. The gamma-ray photons slowly lose energy as they pass through the solar interior, and the energy eventually escapes in the form of visible light. The neutrinos escape unhindered into space at the speed of light, and the helium stays in the core. Other stars, which have used up all the hydrogen fuel in their cores, burn helium into beryllium and carbon. Massive stars that evolve beyond this point then burn carbon into heavier elements, and so on. This process is called nucleosynthesis.
During the later parts of their lives, stars can shed material into the surrounding space, depositing heavy elements. The most dramatic way this is done is through a supernova explosion. In fact, since the earliest moments of the Universe, during the Big Bang, heavy elements have only been produced as a by-product of stellar evolution! That's what astronomers mean when they say "we are all star-stuff."
Why is there so much hydrogen and some helium to begin with? This is tied to our theories of the Big Bang. If the Universe started in conditions of extremely high temperature, then the matter would organize in a way that there were the most particles, or more simple elements like hydrogen and helium.
- CirricLv 710 years ago
Hi The odds are that the core of the Sum has many elements in it. All of the inner planets had quite a bit of hydrogen, helium, and all the other elements -mostly iron. The lighter gases escaped into space from the Suns heat.
- Anonymous10 years ago
The Sun is made of hydrogen because it tastes the best duh silly. What else would a giant ball of fire like to eat, Cookie Crisps? No hydrogen.