The sun is almost entirely composed of hydrogen and helium. Hydrogen accounts for about 75 percent of the sun's mass, with the other 25 percent being almost entirely helium. Other elements, such as oxygen and carbon, do exist in the sun, but at such low concentrations as to be insignificant.Continue Reading
Helium was first detected in the sun, which is why the element was called "helium," after Helios, the sun god in Greek mythology. Helium is present as a by-product of the sun's nuclear processes. The hydrogen that makes up the bulk of the sun's composition is very hot and exists in an excited phase of matter known as plasma.
Under less energetic conditions, hydrogen atoms encounter and repel each other in a weak fashion. In the crushing pressure and blazing heat of the sun's core, however, the hydrogen atoms aren't able to bump off each other, so they strike and stick together with sufficient force to form a new, heavier atom. This process, known as fusion, releases the energy that eventually pours out of the sun and has gradually been converting the giant star's hydrogen into helium for the last several billion years.
Despite the fact that a quarter of its mass has already been converted into helium, the sun still has enough fuel to burn for a long time. The existing store of hydrogen is sufficient to keep sun burning for at least another 5 billion years.Learn more about Our Sun
The Sun is a star that comprises 99.8 percent of the total mass of the solar system, and it is made up of 92.1 percent hydrogen and 7.8 percent helium. It is almost a perfect sphere with a diameter of approximately 864,336 miles, which is more than 100 times that of the Earth.Full Answer >
The sun holds the planets in their orbits, makes life possible on Earth and converts hydrogen into helium. The sun is a large ball of gas that is undergoing a thermonuclear reaction, which enables it to bathe the solar system in energy.Full Answer >
The sun is made of primarily hydrogen and helium but contains traces of carbon, oxygen, neon and nitrogen. The sun contains roughly 70 percent hydrogen and around 28 percent helium.Full Answer >
Hydrogen and helium combine to form more than 98 percent of the sun’s mass, and they represent over 99 percent of the atoms in the sun. Oxygen is the third most abundant element found in the sun, as it is responsible for almost 1 percent of the sun’s mass. The other constituent elements include carbon, nitrogen, silicone, magnesium, neon, iron and sulfur.Full Answer >