Is the ratio of abundance between elements in the Earth's crust like iron and silicon considered typical for our type of solar system?
What I mean is, suppose that somewhere else in the galaxy is another solar system that's near identical to ours in both formation and the type of star. If it formed in a near identical way to our system, would its planets be hosting similar percentages of elements in their crust like Earth, or is it just sheer chance that elements like aluminium and silicon are grossly abundant in the Earth's crust?
- 6 months ago
Very difficult to know w/out direct comparison...
- YKhanLv 76 months ago
There are variations in the abundance of elements even within our own Solar System. We use those variations to determine if certain objects formed near each other or far apart. Most of everything in our solar system is inside the Sun, over 99%. The remaining scraps went to form the planets.
Other solar systems would have different amounts of different elements depending on how close they were to the supernovas that seeded the gas clouds that formed those solar systems. For example, our solar system apparently is very abundant in phosphorous, which is the basis of the energy transport systems in all life on our planet, ATP is the energy transport system of life (the P in the ATP molecule stands for phosphorous). Phosphorous is mainly formed in very specific kinds of supernova, not all of them. So certain solar systems, which formed from supernovas without phosphorous production may not have any life on them, even if they have planets in the habitable zone.
- poldi2Lv 76 months ago
There is no way to know until we can obtain samples of material from exoplanets.
But planets that form near their stars will have more aluminum, silicon, iron, etc. than planets that form farther from their stars.
- busterwasmycatLv 76 months ago
The element-forming processes of stars leads to the general distribution of the elements. There is more than one process though, so you can get different proportions of elements in a larger class (trans-iron elements come from a different process than the elements up to iron, say), but the relative proportions of the lighter elements will mostly be similar to each other no matter what.
There are other things that happen AFTER the death of the preceding star or stars that affect the element distribution on specific planets. The nebula from which a solar system condenses is not homogeneous, and the formation of large bodies like a new star or a brown dwarf will change what else is available for any planets that form nearby, and even once the planet forms, there is a chemical redistribution of elements (differentiation in the planetary body as the body evolves).
It is somewhat like how life on earth has a lot of common characteristics but can differ in detail quite a bit. Not a perfect analogy, but does give the idea of how the generic processes can still produce quite a bit of variety in the specific individual final product.
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- CarolOklaNolaLv 76 months ago
No, it is not sheer chance. The rayed of stellar nucleosynthesis OG second generation main sequence stars determine the abundance of elements in terrestrial planets. As we discover smaller planets in other planetary systems, it turns out the Solar System may NOT be a typical planetary system. Earth may be from a second generation of planets, and the planets did NOT form where they are now. Where are the super Earth planets. Unless the still unconfirmed Planet 9 is a super Earth. And it may been gravitationally captured from a different star.