MadSci Network: Astronomy

Subject: Heavy element distribution and concentration in the Universe

Date: Thu Nov 11 10:25:36 1999
Posted by John Harvey
Grade level: nonaligned School: citizen of Earth
City: Syracuse State/Province: New York Country: USA
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 942333936.As

Correct?: Normal stellar thermonuclear reactions preclude the manufacture 
of heavier elements.  Common stars burn out, making little heavier than 
carbon. Novas create the heavier elements.  Our solar system came from an 
earlier stellar debris field.  How is the abundance of heavier elements 
created? Gravitational sieve draws heavier elements in and solar wind 
blows them out to mass dependant diameters?  The debris field that would 
contain all of the mass of our solar system, plus mass lost in formation 
would be huge. 
The proliferation of Life depends upon the concentration of heavier 
elements just as much as any other demand.  Without a clear explanation of 
how sparsely created and distributed heavy elements could concentrate into 
spacial pinpoints like planets, the prediction of the likelihood of life 
elsewhere would seem impossibly vague and off the mark.  Why heavy Oort 
objects, light gas giants, heavy planets, light Sun?
How does it work?  Just because the soup must have been so thick here, is 
it likely to be that thick with heavy elements in most proto star systems?

Re: Heavy element distribution and concentration in the Universe

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