Solar Composition

  • Claudio Vita-FinziEmail author


Until the late 1920s it was accepted that Sun and Earth had very similar compositions. The revelation that the Sun is composed primarily of hydrogen prompted novel models for its evolution and hence for solar irradiance and magnetism, and it was an essential step towards the current nuclear scheme with its dependence on hydrogen-helium transformation. Nowadays solar composition is investigated by a number of strategies which bear on different parts of the Sun, notably spectroscopy primarily of the photosphere and direct chemical assay of the corona by way of the solar wind, complemented by geochemical analysis of pristine carbonaceous chondritic meteorites, which are thought to have originated in the same nebula as the Sun. The results are evaluated in the light of models of the solar interior and the findings of helioseismology, and they bear on attempts to trace the origins of the solar system, the genesis of stars, and ultimately the origin of the elements in our galaxy and indeed in the universe as a whole.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesNatural History MuseumLondonUK

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