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The crucial point here is that the initial large cloud does not have a constant density throughout but contains many random smaller blobs with a higher density. Because of the higher density, these will collapse faster than the whole cloud would. So you end up with a star cluster rather than one supermassive star.


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The situation is more complex than a simple correlation. A better plot would show the full mass distribution of discovered exoplanets versus their semi-major axis, but for that you need to plot the axes logarithmically. Here is one taken from data held at exoplanets.org. Note that the mass axis is actually "$M\sin i$" because the mass usually has a ...


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The inner planets like Earth formed initially from the coalescence of solids in the protoplanetary disc. The disc itself would have a similar overall composition to the Sun itself, but close to the protosun, the composition of the solids would be quite different. The high condensation temperatures of solids containing iron, silicon and oxygen mean that they ...


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The composition of the Sun is close to the composition of the universe as a whole. It's the Earth that's the outlier. If you look up the elemental composition of the universe as a whole, you'll see numbers for hydrogen and helium almost identical with the ones for the Sun. Theory can predict the elemental ratios. The universe started out as entirely hydrogen,...


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Star formation requires a continuous energy loss of the material in the proto-stellar cloud. This can only happen through inelastic collisions of the atoms/ions (with the kinetic energy lost radiated away). Now, inelastic (as well as elastic) collisions are most effective with regard to energy loss for particles of equal or similar mass. So hydrogen and ...


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