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Neutrinos hint the sun has more carbon and nitrogen than previously thought

Figuring out our star’s makeup is crucial for understanding the entire universe”

By Ken Croswell

JUNE 16, 2022 AT 7:00 AM

After two decades of debate, scientists are getting closer to figuring out exactly what the sun — and thus the whole universe — is made of.

The sun is mostly composed of hydrogen and helium. There are also heavier elements such as oxygen and carbon, but just how much is controversial. New observations of ghostly subatomic particles known as neutrinos suggest that the sun has an ample supply of “metals,” the term astronomers use for all elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, researchers report May 31 at arXiv.org.

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So if the sun has much more carbon, nitrogen and oxygen than currently thought, so does the whole universe. “That changes our understanding about how the chemical elements are made. It changes our understanding of how stars evolve and how they live and die”.

Read the full article on Science News.

The Sun may have more carbon and nitrogen than previously thought
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