Our place under the sun?

This cut-away illustrates a model of Jupiter's...

Image via Wikipedia

The common thinking is that the sun, the planets and everything else in our solar system started from and was created out of a  single accretion  disk. This would mean that the stuff we are made of would all fall within the same range of material with common make-up of those elements.

But according to data from the NASA Genesis mission some of these things just don’t belong here. A recent Science daily post there are some doubts. The makeup of the oxygen isotopes is the same on the sun and Jupiter but not the rocky planets. And the nitrogen isotopes differ as well. While this won’t shake up your day at work tomorrow it does call into question some of the basic assumptions we have on how our band of planetary brothers started out and how we got together.

Other issues that have come up lately are, did you know that under all of that gas Jupiter has a rocky planet core? Surrounded by a sea of compressed gasses and then a very deep atmosphere of hydrogen and other gasses. I know all my life they told me there was no rocky core, but they were wrong. And the sun, it has the same basic makeup as Jupiter just 1000 times more (or so.) So if it has the same elements in it in the same proportions that makes one big rocky (melted, rocky and very compressed) core in the middle of the sun. Meaning the sun’s fusion factory is not the center of the sun but the outside layer of a central core.

Let me just stop here for a second and I will state what I am thinking here. The heavier stuff will migrate to the center. It seems to for everything else we look at, why wouldn’t it inside a star? So you have layers, some with pure stuff, others where things are mixed and with deliniation between them. So the outer stuff is the hydrogen, mixed somewhat with helium. At the base of this hydrogen layer is where the hydrogen fusion happens. It doesn’t fuse heavier elements and then push them outside of the core, they either travel around then settle to the center or they just stay there.

Now while the hydrogen is fusing it creates helium. So if the helium is inside the hydrogen in a layer, then once enough of it builds up and the pressure at it’s base reaches a high enough level being under all of that helium and hydrogen, why wouldn’t it when the right amount builds up start fusing into lithium, even as the hydrogen fusing carries on above it, adding that pressure onto the helium below. The hydrogen fusing continues, making more helium, which in turn makes more lithium. And then the lithium builds up and once there is enough of that happening start making beryllium, boron, carbon… until you have an onion with a ball of iron in the middle and all of the other elements that were already in the accretion disk before the solar system started, from the nebula from some long dead exploded stars.

It’s not a ball of hydrogen that once that is all burnt up stops and then switches to helium fusing to lithium. If that was the case then there would be no hydrogen left, just iron from the last set of super nova explosions. Nope the hydrogen is still there and trying to fuse when the iron is made and the massive gravity causes the super nova to go off. This has been speculated in massive stars before, fusion shells, but our sun is not that big, but somewhere inside our sun there is a rocky core with the remnants of it’s parent nebula I think this means that these fusion shells could be happening in part at least in our own star. How could this new model affect how we see our star. How will it change how we calculate the age of our sun and how long it has left to live?

How does this fit in with the changes we see in the way the sun acting lately and how will it change how we think that the sun will act in the future? Is this a complete picture of how the sun works? Probably not, but the current vision of a hydrogen core fusing and the heaver elements outside of the core just doesn’t work for me. Heavy always goes to the middle, and probably way before the hydrogen even started burning. And the accretion disk had all kinds of the heavier elements already so we know they are there.

I’m going to work on this, do some math, and get back to you. Ping me if I’m taking too long.


About echlinm

Computer Programmer/Systems Analyst/Hacker S31
This entry was posted in Earth Science, Science and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Our place under the sun?

  1. Pingback: Your Questions About What Would Happen If The Sun Exploded

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