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Substances on the stars

  1. May 19, 2004 #1
    I am just wondering what substances we can find most on any stars's surface ?
    How can they come into being ?

    Thank you,
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2004 #2


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    A star's surface is an ill defined thing, using as spectroscope to analyze light emitted by a distant star we can identify the elements emitting light thus learn the composition of a star. As it is understood, stars start by fusing Hydrogen to helium, later stages fuse the Helium to Carbon. Thus elements are created by the fusion process. Some where along the line a star will burn its available fuel causing a gravitational collapse which can be followed by a Nova or Super Nova, this explosion is what creates the heavier elements.

    Note: This is an explanation which is over simplified, what occurs in an individual star is determined by its mass and its composition.
  4. May 19, 2004 #3
    Thank you very much,
  5. May 20, 2004 #4


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    As said, hydrogen is the most common element in stars. In fact, hydrogen is the most common element in the universe. It was created out of the cooled energy from the Big Bang. As it is the smallest/simplest atom, it was created more so than any other atom. The fusion process in stars converts hydrogen into the heavier elements. Supernova explosions (which is what eventually happens to the largest stars) fuse those heavier elements into even heavier elements.
  6. May 20, 2004 #5
    Thank Phobos :sm:
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