Why Is The Sun Made Of Light Elements But Planets Made Of Heavy Elements?


In fact, it is just the opposite. The gas-dust cloud from which the solar system was formed, by mass consisted of approximately 75% hydrogen, 25% helium, and contained significantly less than 0.1% heavier elements, so almost everything in our system should consist of light elements.

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The protostellar cloud serves as a kind of separator, in which heavy elements settled in the center and lighter ones appeared in the outer part of the system, while the separation was not complete, some of the heavy elements remained in the outer regions of the cloud.

Sun Made Of Light Elements
Sun Made Of Light Elements

Ultimately, 99.86% of the total mass of the solar system is concentrated in the Sun, and it is in its core that most of the heavy elements have settled. The planets, on the other hand, were formed from the remnants of matter, in which there were approximately the same proportions of hydrogen, helium, and heavy elements as in the protostellar cloud.

Therefore, all the planets should have had a solid core of heavy elements and a huge gas shell, but the stellar wind from the young Sun blew light gases from the inner regions of the solar system to the outskirts, although they could not blow heavier elements just because of their gravity.

Sun Made Of Light Elements
Sun Made Of Light Elements

As a result, hydrogen and helium could not settle on the inner planets, and most of what the settled were also blown away in 4.5 billion years. At the same time, for planets beyond the asteroid belt, the effect of the stellar wind was not so destructive due to the large distance from the Sun, and they retained huge volumes of light elements.

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