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I am reading about the composition of the Sun and how it is made up of mostly hydrogen (~90%) and helium (>10%) and other elements with much smaller quantities. The explains that different elements give different absoprtion spectra (different lines) yet I do not understand how the proportions were calculated. Can someone explain this to me?

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    $\begingroup$ Lines differ not only in terms of position, but also their intensities. $\endgroup$ – andselisk Mar 8 '19 at 16:16
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    $\begingroup$ Also I think that such an analysis should assume many things as well as modelling the star. I think the only access is to what directly radiates, photosphere and the exterior $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Mar 8 '19 at 16:32
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it would be better on Astronomy.SE $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Mar 8 '19 at 23:11
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    $\begingroup$ Spectral lines and how they work is clearly a part of chemistry even when applied to the sun. After all one of the elements–helium–was first discovered in the spectral lines of the sun. $\endgroup$ – matt_black Mar 8 '19 at 23:47
  • $\begingroup$ I agree is chemistry but as I said before there is no way to know the composition of the sun in a straightforward way. It would be like to look at an almost opaque bottle to decide its content. Still more direct evidence can be attained for the photosphere, chromosphere and corona. $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Mar 9 '19 at 8:24

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