Photo en couleur des explosions sur la surface du soleil.

The composition of the sun could challenge our knowledge of the universe

Astronomers have long studied the composition of the sun for to understand the operation of the universe. It has long been accepted that our star is mainly composed hydrogen and helium. Nevertheless, nobody cannot say for sure what is made of the sun. Indeed, it also seems contain heavier items rich in carbon and nitrogen. The scientists do not agree not sure the amount of these elements.

After two decades of debates, a team of researchers is about to determine the exact composition of the sun and therefore shed light on that of the universe. Indeed, after having observed the movement of neutrinos, astronomers have discovered that this one has a Reserve abundant in “metals”.

Note that they call “metals” all the elements heavier than hydrogen and helium that make up the sun.

Neutrinos help to understand the composition of the sun

Remember that neutrinos are subatomic particles ghosts produced during nuclear reactions. These nuclear reactions that occur in the solar core transform hydrogen to helium while releasing neutrinos. These low energy neutrinos and of practically zero mass move at a speed close to light.

Color photo of explosions on the surface of the sun.

Astronomers then had the idea record the neutrino emission cycle solar to understand its composition. Indeed, they know from the outset that these nuclear reactions occur following the nuclear fusion of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms. So the more the star is rich in these elements, the more it is capable of freeing neutrinos.

The metallicity of the sun challenges the composition of the universe

Livia Ludhovaphysicist at Jülich research center in Germany, claimed that according to their calculations, the sun presents high metallicity, contrary to what has always been accepted. The stakes of this discovery are high, because it could to question the composition of the universe whole.

Indeed, astronomers generally use the sun as benchmark to evaluate abundance of elements composing the other stars and the galaxies. So if the sun contains much more carbon, nitrogen and oxygen than we currently think, the same is true for the entire universe.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.