A Study Has Found Earth Is a Less Volatile Version of the Sun

This image shows the bright light of a solar flare on the left side of the Sun and an eruption of solar material shooting through the Sun’s atmosphere, called a prominence eruption. (Image: NASA / Goddard/SDO)
This image shows the bright light of a solar flare on the left side of the Sun and an eruption of solar material shooting through the Sun’s atmosphere, called a prominence eruption. (Image: NASA / Goddard/SDO)

ANU scientists have found that Earth is made of the same elements as the Sun, but it has less of the volatile elements such as hydrogen, helium, oxygen, and nitrogen.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Haiyang Wang, said they made the best estimate of the composition of Earth and the Sun with the aim of creating a new tool to measure the elemental composition of other stars and rocky planets that orbit them. Dr. Wang, from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA), said:

Other rocky planets in the Universe are devolatized pieces of their host stars, just like Earth. Co-author and RSAA colleague Associate Professor Charley Lineweaver said every star had some kind of planetary system in orbit around it, adding:

Co-author Professor Trevor Ireland, from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences, said the team conducted the study by comparing the composition of Earth rocks with meteorites and the Sun’s outer shell, adding:

The research will be published in the journal Icarus.

Provided by: Australian National University [Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.]

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