Science Questions

How did hydrogen become the major component of our Sun?

Thu, 21st Apr 2011

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Question

Kyle Prawel asked:

Love the show; devote follower for years (and I envy your podcast ratings).  

 

I'm confused by the formation of our solar system:

 

If a supernova left materials for our existence; what helped bring hydrogen and not other materials to the center of our system to form a new sun?  Clarified: if all of the diverse elements were equally spread out in our system pre-formation, what separated hydrogen to be more prevalent in the future sun center for a new sun to form without all of the heavier elements- with these I would think a sun would collapse... so how did they separate?

 

Thanks for the clarification.  I also listen to Naked Astronomy- if my question is sent there I'm a-ok.

 

Kyle Prawel

 

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Kyle Prawel asked the Naked Scientists: Love the show; devote follower for years (and I envy your podcast ratings).   I'm confused by the formation of our solar system: If a supernova left materials for our existence; what helped bring hydrogen and not other materials to the center of our system to form a new sun?  Clarified: if all of the diverse elements were equally spread out in our system pre-formation, what separated hydrogen to be more prevalent in the future sun center for a new sun to form without all of the heavier elements- with these I would think a sun would collapse... so how did they separate? Thanks for the clarification.  I also listen to Naked Astronomy - if my question is sent there I'm a-ok. Kyle Prawel What do you think? Kyle Prawel , Sun, 27th Mar 2011

Hi Kyle,

Someone who's an expert in astronomy can probably answer you better, but I think an explanation would be that the sun is simply big enough that it can hold onto the hydrogen it got at the start of the solar system.  Hydrogen turns out to be so light that it can escape from the atmosphere of small planets, like the earth, so it takes something with a lot of gravity to hold onto it--something like the sun. 

I bet if you look closely at the sun, it also has a lot of other elements which are common on the earth.  It's just that it also has a lot of hydrogen, which has mostly escaped from the earth (some of it has also been bound up into heavier molecules, such as water). jpetruccelli, Sun, 27th Mar 2011

The elements were not uniformly spread out from the outset.
As the universe expanded and cooled the lighter particles were formed from the massive amounts of energy first because they are simpler and more strongly bound.
Hydrogen is the lightest element.
Heavy elements are thought to be ONLY produced in supernova explosions (which are actually implosions caused by gravitational collapse when the star runs out of fuel).
JMLCarter, Sun, 27th Mar 2011

Kyle, You asked the question about the sun's formation process that everyone skipped over. They skipped over it because there's no answer, and it blows their theory to bits. The explanation that it takes more gravity to pull on hydrgen would support a rockie planet at the center of the solar system, as opposed to the sun. Huuuu? No one answered your very good question, which I have asked too, because there isn't an answer and the formation ideas are wrong. Steve Calkins Steve Calkins , Mon, 6th Jan 2014

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