The most common chemical element onour planet is carbon. But on the scale of the Universe, the Earth is only a grain of sand among the boundless sea of stars and galaxies. And in connection with this, it becomes interesting, but what does our Universe consist of? What is the basis of distant planets and asteroids? What is the most important element of the periodic table?
The most common chemical element in the universe
If we talk about which element is the mostcommon in the universe, then everything will be very simple. Hydrogen comes first, then helium, oxygen, neon, and closes the top five iron. And now let's think about what element is knocked out of the overall picture.
Right! Iron! Why? Yes, because all the other representatives of the periodic table, except iron, are gases. And iron is metal. Thus, iron is the most common metal in the entire Universe. At the same time, it is also one of the most important, because if gases form mainly the atmosphere of celestial bodies, then iron is the basis of the planets. So it can be said that if there were no iron, there would not be most of the objects in the Universe.
How scientists have determined that iron is the most common metal in the universe
According to The Astrophysical Journal,A group of astrochemists from the United States came to this conclusion by calculating the absorption spectrum of iron clusters. That is, scientists conducted a spectral analysis of distant objects. If you do not go into details, then this can be explained as follows.
When we see something, it means thatThis object reflects the light and we catch these light waves. Light is a mixture of electromagnetic oscillations, and each oscillation has its own wavelength, and, accordingly, its own color. There are 7 primary colors as well as shades and transitions between them. When spectral analysis is performed, it is studied exactly how chemical elements absorb or reflect light. The result is a spectrogram. On the basis of the resulting picture, we can conclude about the characteristics of the object emitting light. A simple example is rainbow after rain. Raindrops separate the light from the sun.
Spectrogram. 1,4 - sodium spectra, 2.5 - hydrogen spectra, 3.6 - helium spectra
This is interesting: How will the universe die?
Where is the "cosmic iron"
Most of the iron in the universe is concentratedinside the planets and in interstellar gas. In addition, as shown by the new study, not a little iron is in communication with carbon, forming particular molecules called polyins. It was previously assumed that these same polyins are carbon compounds without iron impurities.
"Iron atoms are combined into special compounds withcarbon and the main problem is that these compounds have almost the same spectrum as pure hydrocarbons. Therefore, earlier we could easily overlook them, ”says lead author Frank Timmes.
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