Our sun is a lifeless, fiery ball of gas fueled by a nuclear inferno. Earth, meanwhile, is a rocky, layered planet covered by water and teeming with life. Nevertheless, the elemental composition of these two celestial bodies is surprisingly similar.
The elements in the sun and Earth are pretty much the same, though Earth had less of the sun’s more volatile elements, which evaporate at high temperatures, a new analysis reveals.
This suggests that Earth formed from material in the solar nebula — the cloud of dust and gas that shaped the sun — but volatile elements such as helium, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen were stripped away during our planet’s formation. The tools used in the current study could also help reveal the composition of exoplanets orbiting distant stars, the study authors reported.