Daily BulletinHoliday Centre

News

  • Written by Alina Donea, Senior Lecturer, Monash Centre for Astrophysics, Monash University

Curious Kids is a series for children. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskids@theconversation.edu.au You might also like the podcast Imagine This, a co-production between ABC KIDS listen and The Conversation, based on Curious Kids.

If nothing can burn without oxygen then how is the Sun burning? – question from Shashikant Patil.

It’s true that here on Earth, if you want to burn something you need oxygen. But the Sun is different. It is not burning with the same kind of flame you would have on Earth if you burned a candle.

Have you heard of a nuclear reaction? It is a very powerful process that causes a lot of energy to be released. Well, inside the giant ball of gas that we call the Sun, a nuclear reaction is happening right now.

Curious Kids: how is the Sun burning? NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare – as seen in the bright flash on the right side – on Sept. 10, 2017. Credits: NASA/SDO/Goddard

This means light particles are smashing into each other very, very fast. They hit each other so fast and so hard they sort of glue together. This is what scientists call “fusion” and it can cause other elements and atoms to be created. All this activity causes a lot of energy to be released, which heats up everything near it.

The hottest part of the Sun is its core. The heat and light spreads out from the centre of the ball of gas toward the edges, and that’s what makes the Sun glow.

So there is no normal “flame” in the Sun – at least not like the flames we have in a fire here on Earth – because the energy and light and heat is coming from the nuclear reaction.

And because there’s no normal flame, you don’t need oxygen.

Read more: Curious Kids: why does the world store nuclear waste and not just shoot it into the Sun or deep space?

All this activity inside the Sun creates a lot of sound waves. So the Sun is loud and vibrates like a church bell.

The high temperatures inside make sound waves travel super fast and smash into each other, and that’s what causes the vibration. Solar quakes shake the Sun very ferociously. These can cause what we call “solar flares”, where a powerful burst of energy shoots out from the Sun.

Here’s a video of a solar flare that happened in 2017:

NASA.

I am an astrophysicist fascinated by the vibrations of the Sun. I am searching to discover more quakes inside the Sun and other stars, too (after all, the Sun is just a star).

If you are interested in finding solar quakes, too, check out the pictures from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Read more: Curious Kids: Is there anything hotter than the Sun?

Hello, curious kids! Have you got a question you’d like an expert to answer? Ask an adult to send your question to curiouskids@theconversation.edu.au

Curious Kids: how is the Sun burning? CC BY-ND Please tell us your name, age and which city you live in. We won’t be able to answer every question but we will do our best.

Authors: Alina Donea, Senior Lecturer, Monash Centre for Astrophysics, Monash University

Read more http://theconversation.com/curious-kids-how-is-the-sun-burning-112415

INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

The Conversation

Politics

Scott Morrison interview with Ray Hadley

RAY HADLEY: Prime Minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: G’day Ray.    HADLEY: Jeez you copped a hammering while I was away.   PRIME MINISTER: Goes with the job mate.    HADLEY: Well, yo...

Ray Hadley - avatar Ray Hadley

Immediate small business support for bushfire affected communities

In response to the devastating bushfires, the Morrison Government has today announced a comprehensive suite of measures to immediately support impacted small businesses.    This initial package ...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison Press Conference - Australian Parliament House

Good afternoon. While we are facing more benign weather conditions in the short term, this morning, I received briefings from the Bureau of Meteorology, which set out that over the medium term out...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

How to Choose the Right Data Recovery Solution for your Business

In the modern business environment, data is one of the most important commodities. A typical B2C seller, for instance, offering home delivery service cannot deliver the product to the right addres...

News Company - avatar News Company

CrowdStrike Services Cyber Front Lines Report

New CrowdStrike Report Finds an Increase in Cyber Adversaries Turning to Business Disruption as Main Attack Objective CrowdStrike Services Cyber Front Lines Report offers observations gained from t...

Media Release - avatar Media Release

Which web design software is best for beginners

There are dozens of site-builders and software devoted to the art of creating a website. Some of these, like the one offered by Adobe, are more technically oriented and in many cases require a backg...

News Company - avatar News Company

Travel

The Family Travel Handbook from Lonely Planet

Everything you need to know to take unforgettable trips with your children   Full of practical advice, ideas and inspiration for every type of family, Lonely Planet's The Family Travel Handbook ...

Adam Bennett - avatar Adam Bennett

3 Ideas for a Family-Friendly Holiday to Bali

A family holiday is always an exciting time, but it can often come with its fair share of challenges, especially when trying to keep every member of the family happy. Thankfully, the beautiful islan...

News Company - avatar News Company

The Best Things to Do in Adelaide Hills

Adelaide Hills has long been a relaxing escape for the people of Adelaide and beyond. Its proximity to the capital makes it an accessible destination that feels like you’re miles away from the hustl...

News Company - avatar News Company

ShowPo