Where did the sun's hydrogen come from?

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Newmoon
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Where did the sun's hydrogen come from?

Post by Newmoon »

I've read that the sun is a third generation star - that it was formed from the supernova material of a previous star which was itself formed from the supernova material of an even earlier star. As these supernovae were caused by the earlier stars both running out of hydrogen fuel I was wondering where the all sun's hydrogen came from. Thanks.
Cliff
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Re: Where did the sun's hydrogen come from?

Post by Cliff »

Dear Newmoon
I am no expert on star formation and hesitate to reply to your question "Where did the sun's hydrogen come from ?"
I'll start by using the get out that to give a complete answer could be an ASTRONOMICAL problem.
However, keeping things simple :-
The BIG BANG once it settled down a bit, created an immense amount of hydrogen.
This enabled stars to form. However, despite the 13 billion years passing by there is still a huge amount of hydrogen in our current existing universe.
So looking at your problem very simplistically new stars can be formed\created even now.
Of course it is more complicated than just saying that. For example the universe is apparently expanding - arguably at an accelerating rate - so star formation now probably occurs at a slower pace than in the universes earlier days.
Best wishes from Cliff
Tetenterre
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Re: Where did the sun's hydrogen come from?

Post by Tetenterre »

Newmoon wrote:As these supernovae were caused by the earlier stars both running out of hydrogen fuel I was wondering where the all sun's hydrogen came from. Thanks.
At a "first approximation", that should read "...the earlier stars both running out of hydrogen fuel in their cores...". For stars larger than around 0.3 solar masses, a significant amount of hydrogen from the radiation and convection zones remains unburned and the hydrogen envelope is thrown off near the end of the star's life. Then, as Cliff has indicated, there is still a lot of hydrogen in the interstellar medium: it comprises about 70% of interstellar gas.
Best,
Steve
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