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Can you name the most common elements in the Sun, Earth and Moon?
Enter an element in the box below
Correctly named elements will show up below
Answers do not have to be guessed in order
Abundance (% of total mass) Moon figures based on Apollo 11 Moon Rock sample. Earth Figures based on the percentage of elements found in igneous rock
Unique First Letters
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(Warning: comments may contain spoilers)
Sun, Earth and Moon Elements Quiz
Created Apr 25, 2011 in
Featured May 2, 2011
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May 2nd, 2011 at 16:53 GMT
No selenium in the moon?
May 2nd, 2011 at 16:56 GMT
I'm surprised that Cheese isn't a bonus answer.
Comment below threshold:
May 2nd, 2011 at 18:20 GMT
Good quiz. Finished with 1:12 left. Its easy if you just start with hydrogen and work through the periodic table as you only need to go up to element 26 (Fe).
May 2nd, 2011 at 19:38 GMT
@Speenatch: Ok fair enough bonus added.
May 2nd, 2011 at 20:30 GMT
Thanks to the LCROSS mission, we know that hydrogen is a very abundant element on the moon now.
May 2nd, 2011 at 21:34 GMT
Really no tungsten in the sun? But... But...
May 3rd, 2011 at 03:51 GMT
"Why is the sun so bright?" "Well, son, there's neon up there."
May 3rd, 2011 at 06:02 GMT
Argh, trying to remember a Volkswagen TV spot a few years ago when they posited the existence of a new element. Maybe it was when they introduced the new Beetle. Havefunium? Zoomzoomium? (No, that's a Mazda commercial). Google's letting me down. Anyway, fun quiz. I'd think stupidium is much more common on earth, but I guess I'm wrong.
May 3rd, 2011 at 06:23 GMT
Never mind--it was turbonium. Which, now that I think about it, sounds faintly naughty.
May 3rd, 2011 at 07:23 GMT
Fun fact: Helium was discovered on the Sun before it was discovered on Earth (thus the name Helium).
May 3rd, 2011 at 17:14 GMT
Is the earth core made of oxygen and silicon now? Where does nickel rate? Who took samples from the sun?
May 3rd, 2011 at 20:11 GMT
Oxygen is the main byproduct of photosynthesis and was produced in large quantities for millions of years by plants and microbes prior to the advent of aerobic respiration. Much of it is in the atmosphere, but transition metals ionize readily and react vigorously with the oxide ion (among others). It's why metals are usually found mineralized rather than pure. Elements in the sun (and essentially every stellar body) are determined using emission-line spectra. Every element, when excited, emits a unique set photons of specific wavelengths; it's an incredibly simple technique that's been around for more than a century, and which can be replicated easily in a high school classroom.
May 3rd, 2011 at 23:35 GMT
Not just any cheese. Green cheese!
May 5th, 2011 at 01:07 GMT
Thought there'd be a lot more carbon on earth.
May 5th, 2011 at 08:47 GMT
Following on from volkstraum's comment (which has outrageously been voted down), the figures shown for Earth are solely for its crust c. 1% of the Earth's volume). The mantle constitutes about 15% of the Earth's volume and is considered to predominantly consist of Oxygen (44.5%); Magnesium (22.8%); Silicon (21.5%); Iron (5.8%) Others (5.4%). The core constitutes about 84% of the Earth's volume. The outer core is considered to predominantly consist of iron, with some nickel and about 10% oxygen and silicon. The inner core is mainly iron and nickel with some lighter elements. Accordingly, nickel would undoubtedly be in the list of the top 10 elements that make up the Earth's mass.
May 5th, 2011 at 15:23 GMT
Zeppelinoid you are entirely wrong. The core is only 38.9% of the Earth's volume, the mantle 60% and the crust is 1.1%. However you're right in saying the Earth figures are for the crust. If it were the whole Earth, iron would be top with 32.1%, and nickel would also be in the list at 1.8% Flick should probably either change it, or specify its crust-only.
May 6th, 2011 at 12:16 GMT
Sorry, calculation error, the cores actually even less than that - only 17%! The element proportions were correct though.
May 7th, 2011 at 13:13 GMT
TomHop: Sorry, transposed trhe figures for the mantle and core. Was fully aware the mantle was much bigger. The point is that nickel is much more abundant than the figures in the quiz suggest.
May 8th, 2011 at 19:19 GMT
Seriously?? No Hydrogen in the earth?? So the water is...Oxygen??
May 10th, 2011 at 01:24 GMT
This would have been so much easier if it just accepted the element symbols. Alummnuinumumum is so hard to spell!
May 13th, 2011 at 02:09 GMT
Technically, only 0.1% of the Earth's volume (as a maximum estimate) is water. It is only abundant on the crust,and even then it doesn't even take up half the volume of it, but when you consider how big the crust is relative to the whole Earth...
May 15th, 2011 at 21:35 GMT
Surprisingly, about 450 people forgot about oxygen....
May 30th, 2011 at 21:43 GMT
i was surprised carbon wasnt under earth.
Oct 10th, 2011 at 03:56 GMT
No bonus for Seaborgium??
Dec 16th, 2011 at 16:39 GMT
Jan 8th, 2012 at 02:33 GMT
Got most of the elements that were in small amounts. But couldnt think of the second most common element for the earth and moon. Damn you silicon!
Jun 29th, 2012 at 00:58 GMT
There's bananas on the moon!?!?
Jan 6th, 2013 at 19:08 GMT
After getting Earth's (which were fairly easy, since I'd done the Earth's Crust quiz a few days ago), I got most of the rest by using the heuristic that the atomic number is even. Something about nuclear stability in stellar nucleosynthesis.
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