Mineral Composition

Did you know most planets are made from the same stuff you find on Earth?


Rocks are a mixture of different minerals, and minerals are the building blocks of rocks and everything that makes up a planet!

Different combinations make different types of rock.

The building blocks of the minerals are called elements, and nearly all the minerals that make up the earth come from just eight elements.

The four most common elements that make up the minerals in the rocks here on earth are oxygen, iron, aluminium and silicon.



We think of oxygen as being something in the air we breathe but it’s under our feet too!

Nearly half of all the minerals in the earth’s crust contain oxides – that’s a form of oxygen.

You might think it’s strange that we’re breathing in the same stuff you might find in a planet a billion miles away!


Iron makes up the core at the centre of the Earth.

Think about that next time you’re shutting your iron garden gate!


Sand is also linked to the planets.

Sand is made of compounds containing silicon – something that’s very common in the universe.

You find silicon in the Sun and stars, and in some asteroids too.

Nearly a quarter of the earth’s crust is made of silicon compound and we know that the planets near our Sun have lots of silicon compounds too.

Planets that are further from the Sun tend to have fewer mineral composites in common with planets like Earth which are nearer.

They are often more gassy, which scientists think happens because gasses get blown further by the solar winds.

Click here to explore more from Deep Space High: Earth Watch