Solar Elemental AbundancesOPEN ACCESS 

Katharina Lodders

review paper
in The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Planetary Science, Oxford University Press (2020)


“Review of the history of solar system elemental abundances with a new assessment of elemental and isotopic abundances from CI-chondrites and solar data. Solar elemental abundances, or solar system elemental abundances refer to the complement of chemical elements in the entire solar system. The sun contains more than 99-percent of the mass in the solar system and therefore the composition of the sun is a good proxy for the composition of the overall solar system. The solar system composition can be taken as the overall composition of the molecular cloud within the interstellar medium from which the solar system formed 4.567 billion years ago. Active research areas in astronomy and cosmochemistry model collapse of a molecular cloud of solar composition into a star with a planetary system, and the physical and chemical fractionation of the elements during planetary formation and differentiation. The solar system composition is the initial composition from which all solar system objects (the sun, terrestrial planets, gas giant planets, planetary satellites and moons, asteroids, Kuiper-belt objects, and comets) were derived.”